A SLOVAK was among a group of observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) captured about 35 kilometres from Donetsk on May 28. The observers were released later in the day.

“The crisis staff of the Foreign Affairs Ministry spoke on the phone with the detained Slovak observer, who confirmed that he/she together with another 10 members of the OSCE group are alright and safe,” the ministry press department said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Based on available information all released observers will continue in their mission.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned the incident and called for the release of another four observers captured on May 26 who are still missing. The self-proclaimed people’s mayor of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, said on May 29 that the observers were captured by local rebels, but the group is safe and they will be released soon, the SITA newswire wrote.

“Slovakia is prepared, in cooperation with other OSCE countries, to continue in the implementation of activities of the international community focused on calming the situation in Ukraine,” the ministry press department said.

In addition to the Slovak, the group of captured OSCE observers consisted of two Bulgarians, one Finn, one Dutchman, one Norwegian, one Pole, one Austrian, one Russian, one Italian and one American, TASR wrote.