Russia Has 48 Hours to Explain its Military Activities – Ukrainian Foreign Minister

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Russia and Belarus hold joint military exercises amid threat of Russian invasion to Ukraine
Russia and Belarus hold joint military exercises amid threat of Russian invasion to Ukraine

Ukraine officially demanded an explicit explanation of Russian troops' military activities near the Ukrainian border. In case of no sufficient reply, Ukraine will convene an extraordinary meeting of Vienna Document participants, including Russia

On the evening of February 11, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba announced on his Twitter page, that Ukraine has officially triggered the risk reduction mechanism provided by the Vienna Document.

Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, called out for an explanation of Russia's military activities / Photo credit: Mission of Ukraine to the European Union

The minister requested Russia to provide detailed explanations on military activities in the areas near Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Read more: UK PM Johnson Warns - Further Invasion of Ukraine Would Lead to Military Disaster for Russia

Russia has 48 hours to provide a detailed explanation on the objectives, precise location, and dates of completion of its military activities, as well as designation, subordination, number, and types of formations, as well as types of equipment involved, noted the official.

"In case of absence of reply or its insufficiency/irrelevance, Ukraine will address Russia, as well as other participating states of the Vienna Document, in order to convene an extraordinary meeting where Russia will have to provide explanations," written in the Tweet.

The "Vienna Document on confidence- and security-building measures" provides that the participating states will consult and co-operate with each other about any unusual and unscheduled activities of their military forces outside their normal peacetime locations. Also, it describes the mechanism for consultation and co-operation: after one state submitted a request for an explanation, the other has to give an answer to all the questions to dispel the concern. Whether the reply was transmitted or not, both states involved have the right to request an extraordinary meeting on the matter. All participants of the document may join the event.

Defense Express, the Vienna Document was signed by 57 countries, including Russia
The Vienna Document 2011 contains the OSCE’s primary military confidence- and security-building measures; it was adopted by 57 countries including Russia and Ukraine / Photo credit: OSCE/Velimir Alic

Sources in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs state that they don't find the request "reasonable", as the military activities near the Ukrainian border are "not unusual and unscheduled", thus the Vienna Document doesn't apply here.

Ukraine is concerned over the Russia-Belarus joint drills, which began the day before. Previously Russia was spotted on the deployment of military equipment and armored combat vehicles to Belarus. Apart from that Russia is staging large-scale tank and artillery drills in the neighboring regions soon. The Ukrainian and US intelligence indicated Russia preparing an operation to justify the invasion of Ukraine, allegedly with the use of a fake video.

Read more: Talks in Geneva: US Warns Russia Against Invading Ukraine