Ukraine crisis: International security monitors will be sent in - but not to Crimea
One-hundred strong team will be dispatched to nine areas, but are not expected to go to the contested region
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saturday 22 March 2014
International monitors will be dispatched to areas of Ukraine after Russia finally agreed to sending teams to unstable regions - but not Crimea.
A 100-strong team from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe will be sent within 24 hours to monitor the situation for six months and try to reduce tensions.
On Friday, Russia agreed to join the 56 other members of the OSCE in a consensus decision to send the monitoring mission to nine regions in Ukraine.
Russia said it hoped the decision to send a monitoring mission in would help resolve what it called an "internal Ukrainian crisis".
But the team is not expected to go to Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow on Friday.
"The mission's mandate reflects the new political and legal realities and does not apply to Crimea and Sevastopol, which became a part of Russia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement on Saturday.
OSCE monitors have made multiple attempts to enter the Crimean peninsula during the height of unrest but were repeatedly refused access at the border by armed men.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry insisted Moscow has the right of a tit-for-tat response to the second wave of sanctions imposed by the European Union over Russia's annexation of Crimea.
READ MORE: TRAPPED UKRAINIAN FORCES ARE LEFT WITH AN IMPOSSIBLE DILEMMA
Q&A: THE EFFECTS OF SANCTIONS
Despite sanctions from both the EU and US, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law formally incorporating the Black Sea peninsula into Russia on Friday, less than a week after a referendum that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.
"It's a pity that the European Council made a decision that is divorced from reality," the ministry's spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on the ministry's website.
"We believe it is time to return to the platform of pragmatic cooperation that reflects the interests of our countries. However, of course, the Russian side reserves itself the right to give a comparable answer to the actions taken."
Additional reporting by agencies
- 2 Edward Heath 'child sex abuse' allegation: Investigation to be held into Wiltshire police handling of alleged claim in the 1990s
- 3 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 4 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 5 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks busy Dublin road
Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Garden Centre complex base...
£36000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Buyer is required to join thi...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45000: SThree: SThree Group have been well es...