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OSCE Expected To Discuss Ukraine Crisis

6 December 2004 -- Ukraine's political crisis is expected to be a leading subject of discussions at a two-day annual Organization For Security And Cooperation In Europe (OSCE) foreign ministers conference opening today in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi, the current head of the 55-country OSCE, yesterday urged Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the planned 26 December presidential repeat runoff is free and fair.

He called upon Ukrainian officials to allow international observers full access to the new vote, and for impartial coverage of the campaign by state-controlled media.

The OSCE is reportedly considering increasing to some 1,000 the number of observers it will send to Ukraine for the election rerun between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell are among the ministers expected in Sofia to discuss the Ukrainian situation.


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