Ukraine gives Kremlin 48 hours to explain Russian military activity near Ukrainian border
Kyiv has requested Moscow provide an adequate explanation for Russian military activity near the border between the two countries within 48 hours, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter on Feb. 11.
According to the minister, Ukraine has done so in accordance with the Vienna Mechanism, an agreement within the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
“We have officially triggered the risk reduction mechanism in accordance with Chapter III of the Vienna Document, and requested Russia to provide detailed explanations on military activities in the areas adjacent to the territory of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied Crimea,” said Kuleba.
He said that Russia now has to specify the exact areas where it is conducting military maneuvers and when they will conclude, in addition to the names, types, and command chain of the regiments involved.
“Russia has 48 hours to reply. In case of an 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,” the message said.
Ukraine will continues taking all diplomatic measures available to ensure its security, the minister added.
Russia has been massing troops at the border since late October.
More than 130,000 Russian troops and offensive weapons have been deployed near Ukraine’s borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of the Russian Federation.
Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled military exercises. However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the zone where the exercises are supposed to be held.
Russia has also announced that it was be blocking off access to large portions of the Black Sea for what it alleges are ‘naval missile and gunnery training exercises’ from Feb. 13 to Feb. 19.
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