Ministry of Foreign Affairs comment regarding "Russia's position on the Treaty on Open Skies"
02 July 2020 14:28

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly protests against another manipulation by Russia of international treaties, including the Treaty on Open Skies of March 24, 1992, and Russia's dissemination of provocative allegations that "Crimea and Sevastopol joined Russia on the basis of the people's will" in "Russia's position on the Treaty of Open Skies. "

This yet another diplomatic provocation by the Russian side was made while there are preparations for an extraordinary conference of the states-parties to the Treaty on Open Skies in connection with the US intentions to withdraw from it.

“Russia's position on the Treaty on Open Skies" clearly and unequivocally points to Russia as a violator of the Treaty, whose long and systematic actions have led to a crisis of the Treaty, which was designed to strengthen confidence, security and predictability, increase openness and transparency of military activities.

The Foreign Ministry recalls that in February 2014, under the guise of "conducting military exercises" and "strengthening security measures before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi", Russia drew additional military forces to the region, including airmobile units, marines and special operations forces, and then committed a sudden military intervention in Ukraine, the capture of state and military facilities of Ukraine, and the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.

Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine, which it thus started in 2014, continues to this day. Instead of "crisis prevention and crisis management," as provided for in the Treaty on Open Skies, Moscow is trying to use the Treaty for its own purposes - to legalize the consequences of an illegal attempt to annex Ukraine's temporarily occupied territories.

Russia's actions in connection with the ongoing military aggression against Ukraine in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol have nothing to do with the letter or spirit of the Treaty on Open Skies or, for that matter, any other international treaty or agreement on the balancing of military security at regional or global level, arms control or military restraint.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes that:

- Russia's attempts to declare in the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies the so-called "Russian status" of the sovereign territory of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol are null and void, openly provocative and aim to undermine the Treaty and the open skies regime it institutes;

- Russia's attempt to manipulate the provisions of the Treaty on Open Skies for Russia’s own purposes has nothing to do with the Treaty’s conscientious implementation, but once again calls into question the legal capacity of the Russian Federation as a party to international treaties in terms of compliance and fulfillment of obligations;

- Russia's use of the Treaty on Open Skies to legalize the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol demonstrates, among other things, that the real cause of the Treaty’s stagnation were created by Russia in its own interests.

Attempts, such as this, by the Russian side indicate a continuation of a conscious course to not only escalate tension, but also to deliberately worsen the climate of trust, security and predictability in the OSCE region.

Ukraine considers the encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine in "Russia’s position on the Treaty on Open Skies" a violation of fundamental norms and principles of international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 68/262 "Territorial Integrity Of Ukraine ", 71/205, 72/190, 73/263, 74/168" The situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine ", the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe of August 1, 1975, the Treaty on Open Skies itself, as well as Russia’s obligations under international agreements to which Ukraine and the Russian Federation are the parties.

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