Ukraine makes request to OSCE
Ukraine has requested a meeting of members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the country’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said late on Sunday, accusing Moscow of failing to respond to Kiev’s inquiry over its alleged military activities, near the two states shared frontier.
Kuleba cited the Vienna Document, a series of agreements on security-building measures between European countries adopted in 1990, and subsequently updated.
“Russia failed to respond to our request under the Vienna Document. Consequently, we take the next step,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “We request a meeting with Russia and all participating states within 48 hours to discuss its reinforcement and redeployment along our border and in temporarily occupied Crimea.”
The cited protocol is a framework agreement aimed at confidence and security-building, which was agreed by members of the OSCE. The latest iteration of the document was signed back in 2011.
“If Russia is serious when it talks about the indivisibility of security in the OSCE space, it must fulfill its commitment to military transparency in order to de-escalate tensions and enhance security for all,” Kuleba stressed.
Ukraine invoked Article 3 of the document on Friday, urging Moscow to explain within a 48-hour period its “unusual military activity” near the country’s borders. Under the Vienna agreement, “Russia needs to provide detailed explanation on the objectives, precise location, and dates of completion of its military activities,” Ukraine’s top diplomat pointed out at that time.
While the Russian Foreign Ministry has not provided any public reaction to Ukraine’s request, diplomatic sources told local media that Kiev’s inquiry was deemed to be not well-founded enough.
“We do not consider it justified, since the activity is not unusual and does not provide grounds for launching the military threat reduction mechanism under the 2011 Vienna Document,” a source told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The Ukrainian inquiry effectively looked like a distraction to divert attention from Kiev’s “own unusual military activity” and daily attacks on forces of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the country’s east, the source added. Still, Russian diplomats are expected to provide a reply to the Ukrainian inquiry in the coming days, according to the source.