Mar 21, 2014 4:53 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS
VIENNA (AP) - Russia has accepted sending an international monitoring team to Ukraine that officials say will have free access to regions "throughout the country."
The development Friday follows more than a week of stonewalling by Russia of a push by all other members of the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to send such a mission.
The OSCE said the 200-strong team will gather information and report on the security situation "throughout the country." It did not specify whether that included Crimea, which Russia has annexed.
The OSCE works on consensus. Russia's approval could signify a slight de-escalation of tensions.
Pro-Russian forces last week stopped OSCE military observers from entering Crimea. That team was requested by Ukraine and its formation did not need Russian approval.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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