The representatives of Germany and France in a joint statement outlined their positions in connection with Russia's absence at the OSCE meeting, where they wished to receive an explanation from the Russian side about the concentration of its troops near the Ukrainian border in Donbas and Crimea.
"For several days, we as well as other partners have been observing large-scale Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine. Such activities near the border are always a cause for concern. On our part, but especially on the part of Ukraine, this concern can be defused if appropriate explanations are provided. Chapter III of the Vienna Document was especially created for this purpose. It aims at reducing risks and clarifying possible misunderstandings. As stated in the document, it provides a “mechanism for consultation and cooperation in case of unusual military activities," the statement informs.
In their opinion, Ukraine is fully justified in initiating this mechanism in light of Russian troop movements, and it has the full support of Germany and France in its Actions.
At the same time, Berlin and Paris express regret that the Russian response to the questions raised by Ukraine did not satisfy the need for information.
"Germany and France would like to reiterate their unwavering support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. We would like to encourage Russia to make use of the consultation mechanisms provided for in the OSCE and the Vienna Document, which also Russia agreed to, and to work constructively and in the spirit of Helsinki with the OSCE participating States concerned," Germany and France added.
They called upon Russia to reconsider its approach and commit in good faith to live up to its political-military commitments towards the OSCE.
As we reported earlier, Russia refused to participate in the OSCE meeting, which was initiated by Ukraine due to the buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border in Donbas and in occupied Crimea.