The group of international and Ukrainian observers held hostage by extremists in Slovyansk was released today, May 3, as a result of a joint action plan of the Ukrainian Government, security and law enforcement bodies and Donetsk region officials, and the coordinated effort of the Russian mediators together with the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
The release was preceded by intense consultations and suspension of counter-terrorism operation.
Terrorists who had been holding hostages admitted the futility of their actions and released the people under the rigorous and persistent action of the international and Ukrainian factors.
At the same time, the decision itself was made after unambiguous instructions had been received from the Russian authorities, which yet again shows that the extremists are subordinated to Moscow.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine welcomes the release of the OSCE monitors and views the successful conduct of this operation as an example of the ability of all parties concerned to observe the Geneva Accords of 17 April 2014, provided there is a political will of the parties to de-escalate the situation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine calls for the continuation of all efforts necessary to implement the provisions of the Geneva Statement.