Skip to comments.OSCE team blocked from entering Crimea
Posted on 03/06/2014 9:02:37 AM PST by Army Air Corps
Defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak says a 40-strong OSCE delegation, including two Poles, were blocked from entering Crimea by unidentified men wearing military uniform.
"The mission has been detained, they cannot go further. They landed in Odessa and they were traveling by car from Odessa towards the Crimean Peninsula, but they were detained by unidentified men in fatigues," Siemoniak said on Wednesday afternoon, adding that they may be allowed to go back the way they came but would not be allowed in to Crimea, Reuters reports. OSCE spokeswoman Natacha Rajakovic has confirmed the observers were blocked from entering the region.
The delegation was to observe what is believed be an area in de facto control of Russia, with the Crimean parliament announcing on Thursday it would be holding a referendum on 16 March on whether to break away from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
Refat Chubarov, leader of the Tatar ethnic minority in Crimea, criticized the vote in parliament.
"They are simply mad. It is obvious that they are following somebody eases wishes. Good sense has abandoned them," Chubarov writes on his Facebook page. Crimea is an area of Ukraine dominated by an ethic Russian majority who don't trust the new interim government in Kiev, though the Tatar minority wants to stay part of Ukraine. Ukraine's interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, currently in Brussels as EU leaders debate a response to the crisis, said the Crimean parliament's decision to call a referendum has "no legal grounds at all".
He also called on the US and UK, who guaranteed Ukraine's territorial integrity when Kiev gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, to fulfill their obligations. "We believe that those who guaranteed our independence should fulfill their obligations," he told journalists.
The PAP news agency reports Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk tweeted from Brussels that it was "urgent" Ukraine should sign an associate agreement with the EU and Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the interim government wants to sign the deal without delay. The crisis in Ukraine began when the now ousted president Viktor Yanukovyuch refused signing expected trade and other deals with Brussels at a summit in Vilnius in November.
Can Arseniy remind me again what the legal grounds were for making him interim prime minister?
He’s just saying to all the - so called - free world: “I will sodomize you, and you’re not going to do anything about it. So enjoy it”.