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Moscow says invited OSCE observers to Russia-Ukraine border

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has invited the OSCE to send observers to monitor the Russian-Ukrainian border, the ministry said Monday, in a bid to defuse escalating tensions in east Ukraine.

"As a gesture of goodwill, and without waiting for the enforcement of a ceasefire regime, the Russian side is inviting OSCE observers to the Gukovo and Donetsk border posts on the Russian-Ukrainian border," a ministry statement said.

The move comes as tensions have flared between Moscow and Kiev over conflict in the east of Ukraine, where the government is fighting an armed uprising by pro-Moscow separatists.

The Kremlin has been forced to deny reports that it was considering targeted strikes against Ukraine after a Russian was killed by shells Moscow said came from across the border.

Ukrainian authorities on Monday claimed a military plane was downed by missiles that likely came from Russian territory.

The ministry said it had sent a letter to Swiss President and OSCE chief Didier Burkhalter and planned to table a draft document on the subject to the OSCE.

The foreign ministry said Russia was convinced the move would help stop the violence and "start inclusive and transparent pan-Ukrainian dialogue".

The West is considering a new round of sanctions against Moscow over what it says is Kremlin support for an armed uprising by Ukrainian separatists in the east.

as/cah

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140714/moscow-says-invited-osce-observers-russia-ukraine-border