The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday criticized the lack of progress towards finding a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the dpa reports.

“Humanitarian needs must take precedence over political considerations,” Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said at the opening of the OSCE ministerial meeting in Stockholm.

The OSCE observer mission must be guaranteed unrestricted access throughout Ukraine, said the head of Swedish diplomacy, whose country is chairing the organization this year.

The Stockholm Ministerial Meeting is taking place in a period marked by several serious crises in Europe. “We need to reverse this trend because, almost eight years after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, the European security crisis is escalating,” Linde said, according to

The 2014 war in Ukraine, which erupted after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, has so far resulted in more than 13,000 deaths.

Despite constantly denying the allegations, Moscow is largely seen as a supporter of pro-Russian separatists.

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