Crimea invites OSCE observers for referendum over its status
MOSCOW / ANKARA
Pro-Ukrainian demonstrators react as an armored military vehicle, believed to be Russian, passes in Simferopol. REUTERS photoUkraine’s Crimea region has invited the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to send a mission to observe March 16 referendum on joining Russia, Russia’s RIA news agency said on March 10.
It said the invitation had been issued to the Vienna-based security and human rights organization by the region’s pro-Russian Parliament. OSCE military observers have been unable to enter Crimea, which is controlled by Russian forces.
The invitation came as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey is likely to send a diplomat to Crimea.
The issue came on the agenda during a telephone conversation between Davutoğlu and his Swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, which took place late March 9. “It is important that the OSCE observers, including a Turkish diplomat, monitor the situation in Crimea so the process can function,” Davutoğlu said via his Twitter account late March 9.
Davutoğlu also talked with Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu, Ukrainian MP and Former Chairman of the Crimean Tatar National Assembly, during which he stressed Turkey was concerned for the safety of Crimean Tatars in the region.