SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 26 (Reuters) – Pro-Russian
separatists in eastern Ukraine offered on Saturday to release
eight captive international observers in a prisoner exchange, as
Western governments prepared new sanctions against Moscow.
The pro-Western government in Kiev blamed Russia for what it
called the kidnapping on Friday of the monitors from the
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk are ready to exchange a group of international observers they are holding for fellow rebels who are in the custody of the Ukrainian authorities, their leader said on Saturday.
Asked about a prisoner exchange, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, de facto mayor of Slaviansk, told reporters: “The Kiev junta has our fellows and comrades therefore, if there is a possibility, we are ready for an exchange.”
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 26 (Reuters) – Leaders of the
Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose more sanctions
on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow
separatists have detained a group of international observers
they accuse of being NATO spies.
The pro-Western Kiev government said a Russian special
forces operative was behind what it called a kidnapping in the
eastern city of Slaviansk that is under the separatists’
control, and said the detainees were being used as a “human
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/SEOUL, April 26 (Reuters) – Leaders of
the Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose extra
sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, where
armed pro-Moscow separatists detained a group of international
observers and accused them of being NATO spies.
The United States said its part of the new punitive
measures, which U.S. officials said would target “cronies” of
Russian President Vladimir Putin, could be unveiled as early as
Monday unless Russia moved fast to defuse the Ukraine crisis.
SLAVIANSK Ukraine/SEOUL (Reuters) – The leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed on Saturday to swiftly impose further sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, and the United States could unveil its new punitive measures as early as Monday, officials said.
“We believe that these sanctions will have a significant impact,” U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes said.
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States said on Friday it was prepared to impose further sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists seized a bus carrying international mediators, escalating the two-month-old crisis.
The separatist self-declared mayor of Slaviansk told Reuters the mediators were being held because they were believed to have a spy amongst them from the pro-Western government in Kiev.
SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Armed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk were holding a group of international observers on Friday, saying they had found a Ukrainian spy travelling with them.
“They are with us in Slaviansk,” the de facto mayor of the city, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, told Reuters in front of the seized security service building where, according to the Ukrainian government, the observers were being held.
SLAVIANSK (Reuters) – Armed separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk seized a bus carrying international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Friday, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said.
The separatist leader in Slaviansk told reporters a problem has arisen when the observers tried to pass a separatist checkpoint, and that there was an Ukrainian “spy” among the group. But he did not say where they were.
SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine, April 18 (Reuters) – A day after
an international deal in Geneva to defuse the East-West crisis
in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists vowed not to end their
occupation of public buildings and Washington threatened further
sanctions on Moscow if the stalemate continued.
Leaders of gunmen who have taken over city halls and other
sites in and around Donetsk this month in pursuit of demands for
a Crimea-style referendum on union with Russia, rejected the
agreement struck in Geneva by Ukraine, Russia, the United States
and European Union and demanded on Friday that the leaders of
the Kiev uprising must first quit their own government offices.
SLAVIANSK/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and would not move out of public buildings they have seized until the Kiev government stepped down.
The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday, seemed to be the best hope of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War.