— Martin Lidegaard (@martinlidegaard) June 27, 2014
Unidentified OSCE observers are released by Alexander Borodai (R), leader of the self proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic". Photo: Shamil Zhumatov/Scanpix
A Danish observer from the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held hostage for a month by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine has now been released.
The foreign ministry confirmed the man’s release in a statement early on Friday.
“We are both relieved and extremely happy that four OSCE observers have been released, including a Danish observer,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said. “There are however still an additional four OSCE observers being held in Ukraine. They should also be released immediately. It is completely unacceptable that OSCE’s observation mission in Ukraine cannot be carried out in peace.”
In addition to the Dane, the other three released observers were from Switzerland, Turkey and Estonia.
The OSCE members were captured in south-east Ukraine on May 26. Their release came as part of peace talks between Kiev, Russia, the OSCE and the pro-Russia insurgents.
On Monday, the insurgents agreed to honour a ceasefire declared by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.
According to the Guardian newspaper, rebel leader Alexander Borodai said he was “hoping we can facilitate the release of the four remaining observers”.
The foreign ministry reported that the released Danish hostage was doing well under the circumstances and that the ministry was prepared to offer him psychological help.