Moscow: Russian government Wednesday urged the Ukrainian side to immediately stop military operations to ensure the security of observers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"Continuing armed hostilities in the southeastern Ukraine pose a direct threat to hundreds of citizens of our countries as well as to officers at border checkpoints," Xinhua quoted the foreign ministry as saying.
The ministry did not rule out that international monitors working in Russia's Rostov region might also be exposed to danger. It urged all the conflicting parties to sit down at the negotiating table to settle the crisis.
It also said that the beginning of the work of OSCE observers on Russian-Ukrainian border confirms Russia's efforts to de- escalate the Ukraine crisis.
"The invitation of international observers is another confirmation of goodwill of Russia, which makes every effort to contribute to de-escalation of the crisis, to create conditions for an immediate launch of the negotiation by the Ukrainian parties and to disprove groundless accusations from Kiev and Western countries of Russia's allegedly inappropriate border control", the ministry added.
The first group of OSCE observers arrived in the Rostov region Tuesday and began working at the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. A total of 16 observers will take part in the round-the-clock checkpoint monitor.