One of the critical steps in President Obama's "off-ramp" de-escalation plan for the crisis in Ukraine was a so-called 'observer mission' by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to ensure that all citizens were being treated fairly. That 'plan' has hit a wall this morning as PTI reports that pro-Kremlin gunmen blocked the obersver entry. Seems like another red line just got crossed.
Pro-Kremlin gunmen kept foreign observers from entering Crimea today as Russia welcomed the prospect of the Ukrainian peninsula joining the country amid the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
A convoy of vehicles from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) -- led by a police car and followed by two buses carrying the observers and a large number of cars waving Ukrainian flags -- were stopped at a checkpoint manned by armed men as they tried to enter Crimea for a second day.
The observer mission is a crucial part of the so-called "off-ramp" US President Barack Obama is pushing to de-escalate a crisis in Ukraine that threatens to splinter the ex-Soviet nation of 46 million along its cultural divides.
With Gazprom threatening their gas supplies, we await President Obama's response to this denial of his plan and the actions of his allies in Europe...