Ukraine's ambassador to Turkey, Sergiy Korsunsky, said he expected four OSCE observers taken captive last month, including an Estonian citizen, to be released in the near future.
Korsunsky told Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah that the OSCE team, which also includes Turkish, Swiss and Danish nationals, is expected to be released in the coming days. They were captured by pro-Russian separatist rebels on May 26 near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.
"From the best of our knowledge all the captive observers are still alive and their health is fine," Korsunsky told the paper. "Ukraine [is] working with OSCE officials to resolve this problem. I believe that they will be released very soon."
Korsunsky said that the observers are being held in two separate groups.
"They keep them as two groups in different locations. The group includes the Turkish observer currently being held at the headquarters near Donetsk. Those terrorists kept them as a guarantee in their headquarters to prevent a rescue operation," he said.
The observers were detained the day after observing the presidential elections that took place in Ukraine, which made Petro Poroshenko the fifth president of Ukraine. Poroshenko captured more than 54 percent in the first round of balloting and was inaugurated on June 7.
Poroshenko said on Wednesday he would be ready to hold talks with the separatists in eastern Ukraine if they agreed to lay down their weapons. The rebels show no sign of giving up their arms.