World Bulletin/News Desk
Germany urged Moscow on Monday to use its influence on pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to secure the release of observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who are being held in the city of Slaviansk.
The release of one of the eight hostages on medical grounds was "a positive step" but the other seven must also be freed "immediately, unconditionally and unharmed", said Seibert.
"We ask the Russian government to act publicly and internally for their release, to distance itself clearly from such acts and to use its influence on pro-Russian perpetrators and forces in eastern Ukraine to secure their release," he said.
Seibert said the presence of armed, masked men when the OSCE observers were paraded before the media in Slaviansk on Sunday - in what he called a "revolting spectacle" - made it clear beyond any doubt that they were the hostages of the city's self-styled mayor, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walker Steinmeier spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday and again on Monday to urge Moscow to make it clear to the separatists that their action was unacceptable, a ministry spokesman said.Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2014, 14:28