Moscow received a request from Kiev “for an explanation of unusual military activities” at the border through the channels of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and considers it unreasonable, RIA Novosti reports, citing a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“We do not consider it justified, since the activity is not unusual and does not give grounds for launching a mechanism to reduce military danger under the Vienna Document 2011 on confidence- and security-building measures,” the agency’s interlocutor emphasized. He also added that Kiev’s request is reminiscent of a “diversionary maneuver” from the really important problems, namely the daily shelling of Donbass and higher military activity in the region. Moscow will give an official answer in the coming days, the source concluded.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that the Ukrainian authorities sent a request to Russia for detailed explanations of “military activities” in areas adjacent to the Ukrainian border. Kuleba claims that Kiev has applied a “danger mitigation mechanism” under Section III of the Vienna Document. Russia should provide a response within 24 hours. If there is no response or if it seems insufficient, then Ukraine will turn to other countries participating in the Vienna Document to convene an emergency meeting.
The OSCE Vienna Document dates back to 2011. It is aimed at strengthening security and trust between countries. In accordance with the agreements, the states annually exchange information on military forces and major weapons systems, on defense planning and military budgets. The document provides for consultations in connection with “unusual military activities” and dangerous incidents.
Since the fall of 2021, Western countries have been crediting Russia with plans for military aggression against Ukraine. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claims that Russia has amassed more than 100,000 of its troops near the border with Ukraine and their number is increasing every day. Moscow has repeatedly said that they are not going to attack anyone and move troops at their own discretion on their territory. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the country was forced to send troops to the Ukrainian borders due to the “unfriendly atmosphere” created by NATO exercises and the advancement of the alliance’s infrastructure to Russian borders.