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Armed pro-Russian militiamen force UN envoy to cut Crimea trip short

March 6 2014, 15:25

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry was blocked on March 5 in Crimea by armed men who made him leave the peninsula.United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry was blocked on March 5 in Crimea by armed men who made him leave the peninsula.United Nations peace envoy Robert Serry had to cut short his visit to Crimea after a group of armed pro-Russian militiamen blocked him and threatened in his car in Simferopol, capital city of the peninsula on March 5, kyivpost.com reports.

Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, arrived to Ukraine on March 5 after he was asked by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson the day before "to travel to Crimea to take stock and evaluate the situation there." 

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry initially said that Serry was kidnapped in Simferopol. 

"Serry has just informed us that his car in Simferopol was blocked by unknown people in uniforms and they told him they were under orders to take him to the airport. He refused to go and was seized and is effectivey being held by a group of unknown people as a hostage," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis said.

But later James Mates, editor for ITV news wrote on his twitter that Serry, whose car has been blocked by "protesters chanting Putin, Putin!" went to a coffee shop and stayed there for awhile. Then the envoy agreed to end his mission in Crimea and go to the airport.

Head of the State Border Service, Colonel General Mykhailo KovalevHead of the State Border Service, Colonel General Mykhailo Kovalev"Very unpleasant incident over. Robert Serry said very happy to leave Crimea if it helped de escalate the situation," Mates wrote on his twitter. 

The press service of Border Service also reported about the missing of head of the State Border Service, Colonel General Kovalev in Yalta.

A group of some 40 individuals, mostly bikers, cut Kovalev off from the officers who accompanied him when he walked out of a border service's check point and forced him into an SUV. The car then left in an unknown direction.

But later Kovalev got in touch with his border service and reported he was OK, according to Interfax Ukraine.   

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