The self-declared mayor of Slovyansk has said that captured members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would be used as a bargaining tool.
The international military verification team led by four German nationals was detained near the city on Friday.
“You understand, captives have always been an exchange currency during times of military conflict. It is an international practice to exchange prisoners of war, there is nothing terrible about that,” said Vyacheslav Ponomarev,
Germany is trying to find a way to negotiate their freedom and has been asking Russia for support.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday “I talked today to the Swiss President, who is also currently the chairperson of the OSCE, and I talked to the President of Ukraine, and lastly with the Russian Foreign Minister. I am very pleased that all three have offered full support.”