April 5, 2014
The Russian Federation has refused a U.S. request under the terms of the Vienna Document for a multilateral consultation to explain Russia’s military buildup on the Ukrainian border, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation, Ambassador Daniel Baer, said today.
The U.S. Mission, as well as other participating States, subsequently requested a joint convening of the OSCE’s Forum for Security Cooperation and Permanent Council, which the Swiss Chair-in-Office will schedule for Monday, April 7, in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Such a meeting is foreseen under the Vienna Document’s risk reduction mechanisms, to consult on unusual military activities.
Baer expressed his disappointment with Russia’s unwillingness to engage on the issue of the military buildup, which is of serious concern to the international community. “The Russian Federation has declined an important opportunity under the Vienna Document framework to provide a credible rationale for massing many thousands of troops on Ukraine’s borders,” Baer said.
“Russia’s ‘explanations’ to date have ranged from contradictory claims that there has been no troop buildup, to statements that Russian forces there are engaged in routine exercises,” the U.S. Ambassador continued. “Monday’s meeting will be an opportunity for OSCE participating States, all of which are signatories of the Vienna Document, to share information and seek better explanations from the Russian Federation. Given Russia’s recent violations of international law and their OSCE commitments, the international community is rightfully concerned by Russia’s military activity and its effects on regional peace and security.”
Ambassador Baer will be available to all interested media after the combined FSC-PC on Monday.
For further information please contact:
U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Christopher Midura, Public Affairs Counselor
Tel. (+43-1) 31339-3422 / Cell: (+43) 664 322 9879