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OSCE PA committee approves resolution criticizing Russia over Ukraine, INF Treaty

The resolution urges the warring sides within Europe to engage in negotiations for achieving peace

LUXEMBOURG, July 6. /TASS/. The Political Affairs and Security Committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly approved the resolution on Saturday, which urges to halt hostilities in east Ukraine and says that Moscow does not allegedly implement the Minsk peace accords and besides, violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

According to the resolution, the OSCE PA calls for "the full withdrawal of heavy-caliber weaponry by both sides, an immediate end to the use of landmines and greater investment in demining efforts" in Donbass. Moreover, the resolution urges "the de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukrainian territory, and a comprehensive settlement of the conflict based on full implementation of the Minsk Agreements, in particular the obligations under the Minsk Agreements which have not been fulfilled by the Russian Federation."

The resolution urges the warring sides within Europe to engage in negotiations for achieving peace "in full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova."

A member of the Russian delegation and chair of the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, pointed out during the Friday debates that "the demonstrably unacceptable wording is abundant [in the document], including anti-Russian remarks, which cannot help any meaningful cooperation."

"The main thing is that they are far from reality. The draft resolution contains terminology of the occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol and of the presence of Russian armed forces in Ukraine," the lawmaker continued recalling that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine had confirmed in its eight reports that there were no Russian troops in southeast Ukraine.

"Crimea was occupied in 1991, but has come back home, to Russia, forever by now. It has been charted on the world’s political map forever," Slutsky said.

State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, head of the Russian delegation, said on Saturday that Russia is a guarantor of the implementation of the Minsk accords and is not a party to the agreement.

OSCE PA stance on INF treaty

On Saturday, the resolution included the US-drafted amendment, supported by lawmakers from Lithuania, Canada, Turkey and North Macedonia, which says that the assembly regrets "the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty" caused by Russia.

The US began accusing Russia of breaking the INF treaty in July 2014. Since then, Washington has been repeating its allegations on many occasions, whereas Moscow has been rejecting them and advancing counter-claims concerning the implementation of the treaty by the US.

The United States suspended its liabilities under the INF Treaty starting February 2, 2019. The US administration warned that Washington would quit the Treaty within six months unless Russia came into compliance with the agreement. The US insists Russia destroy its long-range ground-based cruise missile systems 9M729, which do not conform to the limited range allowed under the INF treaty, as Washington alleges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded in kind on February 2, saying that Moscow would suspend the Cold War-era treaty. On July 3, Putin signed into law the bill suspending the INF Treaty by Russia.