VIENNA- The United States Thursday called it “deeply disappointing” that Russia blocked for the third time this week the sending of a full OSCE observer mission to Ukraine.
US ambassador Daniel Baer said in a speech to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe late Wednesday, released Thursday, that there was “again, only one objection in the room”.
He said this was “deeply disappointing, particularly given the Russian Federation’s continuing statements … that they support and see the urgency of getting monitors on the ground”, he said.
More than 50 military observers from the Vienna-based OSCE already attempted to enter Crimea two weeks ago but were repeatedly barred entry at border checkpoints.
Western countries want a larger-scale OSCE observer mission deployed, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier saying Wednesday they could provide an “objective” picture of the situation.
Following last weekend’s referendum in majority Russian-speaking Crimea and its subsequent formal absorbtion into Russia, the government in Kiev now fears Moscow has its sights on southeastern parts of the country.