BERLIN, April 28 Germany urged Moscow on Monday
to use its influence on pro-Russian separatists in eastern
Ukraine to secure the release of observers from the Organisation
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who are being held
in the city of Slaviansk.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said
Berlin condemned the detention of the team, which includes four
Germans, calling it "against the law and without justification".
The release of one of the eight hostages on medical grounds
was "a positive step" but the other seven must also be freed
"immediately, unconditionally and unharmed", said Seibert.
"We ask the Russian government to act publicly and
internally for their release, to distance itself clearly from
such acts and to use its influence on pro-Russian perpetrators
and forces in eastern Ukraine to secure their release," he said.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Erik Kirschbaum)