Russia skips OSCE meeting on Ukraine crisis

Russia skips OSCE meeting on Ukraine crisis


Russia on Tuesday failed to attend a meeting of members of the OSCE, the world’s largest security body, to explain its military buildup near the Ukraine border.

Kyiv had requested the meeting with Russia and other members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to “discuss the reinforcement and movement of Russian forces along our border” under the so-called Vienna Document.

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Russia on Tuesday failed to attend a meeting of members of the OSCE, the world’s largest security body, to explain its military buildup near the Ukraine border.

Kyiv had requested the meeting with Russia and other members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to “discuss the reinforcement and movement of Russian forces along our border” under the so-called Vienna Document.

The agreement requires the Vienna-based body’s 57 members to share information about their military forces and notify each other about major activities.

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“The United States welcomes the decision by Ukraine to call for this meeting,” Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the OSCE, told the closed-door session.

“Unfortunately and regrettably, though perhs not surprisingly, the Russian Federation has absented itself today,” he added, according to his statement.

A source with knowledge of the meeting confirmed to AFP that Russia had failed to attend.

The Russian representative to the OSCE did not immediately return a request for comment.

The French mission to the OSCE in a statement on behalf of the EU urged Russia “to immediately de-escalate, to engage constructively on the diplomatic track and to fulfill its commitments in good faith”.

Less than a dozen such meetings under the Vienna Document have been held since it was adopted in 1990, the source said.

On Monday, a similar meeting took place — this one requested by the Baltic states to seek explanations from Belarus over its massive military drills with Russia.

Western leaders said Tuesday they were seeing positive signs that Russia was looking to ease tensions over Ukraine, after Moscow announced it was pulling back some of the troops deployed on its neighbour’s borders.

(With inputs from agencies)

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