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Russia urges US, OSCE not to use organization for fanning tensions over Ukraine — FM

MOSCOW, April 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is urging the United States and the other OSCE member-states not to use the organization for fanning tensions over Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“We are calling upon the US and the other member-states to stop using the OSCE rostrum for fanning tensions over Ukraine and to exert constructive efforts to promote a way out of the continuing intra-Ukrainian crisis, normalize the situation and conduct a comprehensive constitutional reform in the interests of forming a stable democratic system accommodating the legitimate interests of all of the country’s regions,” the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary.

Russia refused to take part in a joint session of the OSCE Standing Committee and the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation in Vienna on April 7 that had been initiated by the US and Ukrainian delegations over their concerns about alleged Russian Armed Forces’ military activity in regions bordering Ukraine.

“We believe that such sessions are groundless and run counter to Chapter III of the Vienna Confidence and Security Building Measures Document,” the ministry says.

“Russian troops’ day-to-day activity on their national territory does not pose a threat to the security of the US or other OSCE countries,” it says.

This is the reason why Russia “rejected the US request for holding a meeting within the above-mentioned mechanism until the American side provided objective data on the concentration of Russian troops in compliance with the Vienna Document”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

In the meantime, Russia has taken note of the statements made by the US and other NATO countries and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen regarding the Alliance’s decision to deploy troops in Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Black Sea regions.

“Questions were addressed directly to NATO,” the ministry says.

Under these circumstances, “Russia considered it senseless to meet with the US and Ukrainian delegations that had launched an anti-Russian campaign in the OSCE”, it says.

“We cannot but stress that the US itself and its NATO allies demonstrated their understanding of ‘high standards’ of complying with the Vienna Document, particularly with a mechanism of consultations about unusual military activities, in 1999 during military actions against Yugoslavia without the UN authorisation”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The Republic of Belarus then failed to receive the necessary information it requested. Certain states refused to answer questions. Moreover, the Western partners negatively interpreted this step despite Belarus’ actions in full compliance with the Vienna Document,” it says.

“Russia is calling on the US and other OSCE countries to exert constructive efforts aimed at overcoming the political crisis in Ukraine, normalising the situation and carrying out an overall constitutional reform in order to build a stable democratic state that meets the interests of residents of all Ukrainian regions,” the ministry says.