Perhaps it is time to finally admit that anyone who thought Putin’s Tuesday press conference, which the market so jubilantly assumed was a case of “blinking” and de-escalating tensions with the west, was wrong. If there is still any confusion, following yesterday’s news that Gazprom officially threatened Ukraine with cutting off its gas supplies, as well as the storming of a Ukraine base by Russian troops – luckily with no shots fired so far – then today’s developments should any remaining doubts. Moments ago AP reported that as the latest, third in a row, group of OSCE inspectors tried to enter Ukraine, they were not only barred from doing so, but warnings shots were fired to emphasize the point by pro-Russian forces.
An Associated Press reporter says pro-Russian forces refused to let a foreign military mission enter Crimea on Saturday.
After the officers had stopped, the armed men fired warning bursts of automatic weapons fire into the air to make other unidentified vehicles halt. No injuries were reported.
The multinational group of military officers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was attempting to enter the embattled peninsula from the north. The armed men told them they had no authorization to enter Crimea.
The OSCE mission will likely return to the Ukrainian city of Kherson where it had spent the night, the AP reporter said. Russia and Ukraine are locked in a tense standoff over Crimea.