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Comments of the Directorate for Information Policy of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine on the refusal of the Russian Federation to participate in the consultations under Title III of the Vienna Document
28 April 2014 16:59

The Russian Federation refused to participate in the consultation, which Ukraine has suggested to hold on April 28, 2014 according to paragraph 16.2 of the Vienna Document on Confidence and Security Building Measures in connection with the military exercises of the Southern and Western military districts of the Russian Federation Armed Forces near the Ukrainian borders. Moreover the Russian side has somewhat strange argued its refusal, claiming that the provisions of Chapter III of the Vienna Document cannot be applied to the situation that has developed near the eastern borders of Ukraine. Thus, Russia has again refused to give an explanation about the purpose of its intense military activity near our borders.

In this connection we would like to remind the Russian partners that paragraph 16 of Chapter III of the Vienna Document states that its member states have agreed to "…consult and co-operate with each other about any unusual and unscheduled activities of their military forces outside their normal peacetime locations which are militarily significant,.. ...and about which a participating State expresses its security concern.".

We regard that the "military exercises" that Russia suddenly decided to hold close to the Ukrainian border, lie in full conformity with the criteria specified in Chapter III of the Vienna Document. The fact that the Russian officials, including Foreign and Defense Ministers, unambiguously hinted at the possibility of introducing of its troops on the territory of Ukraine at a completely false pretext raise much concern. There hardly exists a state in the world, which under similar circumstances would not express its concern.

Unfortunately the Russian side has once again failed to take the opportunity to clarify their intentions, continuing the practice of violation of the Vienna Document provisions, which does not envisage a refusal to participate in the consultations. It seems that Russia deliberately avoids open conversation on its aggressive military activities over the last few months.

In this regard, Ukraine convenes according to paragraph 16.3 of the Vienna Document a joint meeting of the Forum for Security Cooperation and the OSCE Permanent Council to discuss the situation on the eastern borders of our state. It is also planned to discuss at the meeting the situation around the seizure of the group of international inspectors in the city of Slavyansk, who reside in Ukraine in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Document. We hope for a constructive Russian participation in this meeting.

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