Russia has high hopes for observer mission in crisis-torn Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier closes the naval base headquarter gate in the town of Novo-Ozerne, some 90 km west of the Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine, on Monday March 3, 2014.
Photo: The Associated Press

Russia's foreign ministry says it hopes a monitoring mission in Ukraine will help ease the tensions in Ukraine.


Ukraine was engulfed in anti-government rallies for three months before President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country and the interim government was appointed.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on Friday that Moscow hopes that the 200-strong team of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe "will help to overcome the internal Ukrainian crisis'' and ensure the respect for human rights there.


Russia had raised concerns about the situation in Russian-speaking south-eastern regions including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. Moscow on Friday formally sealed Crimea's annexation, less than a week following a referendum that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.

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