Bern, 3 May 2014 – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter expressed his gratitude to all participating States involved in the efforts for the release of the seven military inspectors and their Ukrainian hosts who were detained in Sloviansk by a group of armed individuals.
He particularly emphasised the crucial role of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the assistance for their release. From the moment of their abduction on Friday, 25 April, the Special Monitoring Mission worked under difficult circumstances to set them free.
Burkhalter continued by saying that the situation in Eastern and Southern Ukraine was at risk to deteriorate rapidly. Joint efforts to stop escalation and to find a way back to dialogue have to be undertaken.
He confirmed his readiness to make use of high level contacts to give new impetus to the implementation of the Geneva Statement and to discuss additional measures to reverse the logic of escalation and support the OSCE in its efforts to foster security and stability in Ukraine.
In this very tense situation, it was of utmost importance for all sides to act responsibly, exercise maximal restraint, to refrain from violence and search solutions through dialogue, Burkhalter continued.