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VIENNA, April 28 (Reuters) - A senior Russian diplomat said on Monday it had been "extremely irresponsible" to send military monitors from the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to tense eastern Ukraine, where they were detained last week.
Andrey Kelin, Moscow's ambassador to the Vienna-based OSCE, said however that it would be a good step towards easing the conflict to release the seven European monitors, who are being held by pro-Russian rebels.
"We have made statements for the benefit of these people and we hope that negotiations will continue and I hope also that it will be a success," he told reporters after an extraordinary meeting of the 57-nation European security body.
Germany urged Moscow earlier on Monday to use its influence on pro-Russian separatists to secure the release of the observers, who are being held in the city of Slaviansk.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Angus MacSwan)