Moscow insists there is no reason to hold talks as Russia ‘does not carry out any unusual military activity’
The head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, made it clear that Moscow would not participate in the OSCE consultations convened by Kyiv.
Speaking to the RIA news agency on Tuesday, the official explained that from Russia’s point of view, there is no reason to hold such a meeting because the country is “not engage in unusual military activity,contrary to the claims of Ukraine and its Western allies.
On Sunday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called for a meeting of the signatories of the 2011 Vienna Document on confidence- and security-building measures, which provides for the possibility of convening consultations in the event of “unusual military activity.“Russia and Ukraine, along with 54 other OSCE members, are parties to the agreement.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy quoted the “reinforcement and maneuvers of the Russian army” along the Ukrainian border as the reason for the meeting.
Earlier, Kiev issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Moscow, demanding that Russia provide Ukraine with detailed information on troops concentrated along the country’s western borders. However, Russia refused to comply, which, in Ukraine’s view, justified the summoning of the signatories of the Vienna Document.
At the time of writing, these consultations were supposed to have already started, as previously indicated by Poland, which currently chairs the OSCE.
For months now, the West has been peddling claims of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, while Moscow dismisses them as “false,insisting that he harbors no aggressive intentions towards his neighbour.
Some media have even announced concrete dates when Russia is likely to strike, including February 15. Senior US officials refrained from giving a specific timeframe, but still asserted that the alleged Russian invasion could begin”any day.”
Washington and its allies cite military exercises Russia has conducted in its western regions, some of which are adjacent to the Ukrainian border, as an indication of aggressive intentions. Moscow, however, stressed that it had every right to move its troops on its own territory as it pleased, without having to answer to third parties.
The Kremlin has also indicated that the “hysteria” around Ukraine, stoked by its Western allies, is being used as a pretext to strengthen NATO’s military presence in Eastern Europe. On top of that, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in late January that the whole narrative of an ‘imminent’ Russian invasion could serve as a smokescreen to cover Ukraine’s intentions to sabotage the agreements. from Minsk.
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