“Russia refuses to talk about military exercises” – Corriere.it

to Viviana Mazza

Biden Reporter: “Grateful to Italy for the diplomatic effort. We are consulting with Draghi and other allies to try the diplomatic track again. But we’re ready anyway.”

“The next few days will be critical. We have asked Russia to stick to diplomacy, but the ball is now in the Moscow square and we have to see if they choose dialogue or escalation. We wish they would choose the last course but we are ready anyway.” Talk to Michael A. Carpenter, Ambassador The US has to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) who just came out of a briefing on the increase of mortar shells in Donbass, in the area not under the control of the Ukrainian government.”We understand that Russia has prepared the working and information space for the pseudo-science operation and used as a pretext to invade Ukraine. So we must be very attentive to the information and check it several times before giving assurances Courier service Ambassador, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Uraria and Conventional Arms Limitation, and former advisor to Vice President Joe Biden as Director of Russia on the National Security Council. Carpenter says he is “grateful to his Italian allies” for Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s attempt to promote a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky. “We are consulting with all allies – Draghi, Schulze, Macron, Johnson and others to push for diplomacy.”

You strongly criticized Russia’s refusal to participate in a special joint meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and Security Forum requested by Ukraine following the start of Russian border exercises under the Vienna Document with the aim of obtaining detailed information on the deployment on its borders, in Belarus and Crimea.

«It is noteworthy that at this moment of great tension, Russia does not participate in these meetings: these are discussions aimed at taking measures to reduce risks. This position speaks volumes about their transparency in military operations. There is only one country that has collected more than 150,000 soldiers on the borders of another country with all means of combat – tanks, artillery, planes and helicopters – and that is Russia. Moreover, Moscow signed the Vienna Document ».

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What can OSCE monitors see on the ground?

“The Special Monitoring Mission is only in the territory of Ukraine: it therefore does not have the ability to see what Russia is doing on the other side of the border, certainly not in Belarus or in occupied Crimea. But it is still very useful because some of the propaganda and disinformation we are seeing It comes from Russia – which claims that Ukraine is massing troops on the battle line – can be refuted because SMM reports show there are no indications of such activity.”

News came a few days ago that some countries had withdrawn observers from this ongoing mission as well. What is the impact of this decision?

“The mission is ongoing, it is important, and we will continue to support it financially. The United States and two other countries – Canada and the United Kingdom – have temporarily withdrawn the monitors due to the extreme danger we now face. We ask all US citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible as long as commercial means are available, and this applies to everyone: we have reduced the embassy in Kiev and asked the observers to withdraw temporarily. If the situation stabilizes, we will be happy to get them back. Most of the European Union, Russia, Bosnia, some Central Asian countries and others are still on the ground. This complicates the situation because this additional employee will help but due to the duty to protect our citizens, we had no choice at the moment.”

European leaders talk of an attempt to return to the dialogue on the Ukraine crisis through the Minsk agreements, but there is no agreement between Kiev and Moscow on how to implement them.

“Ukraine adopted the Minsk agreements as a way of resolving the conflict and restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. In fact, there is little ambiguity about what is written in the Minsk Protocol of February 2015. Three points are very clear: it requires a permanent ceasefire, the removal of heavy weapons from designated areas, and unfettered access to Osce monitors. Russia violates all three. Even if there are differences of interpretation on other, more political points, the security preconditions that would allow the implementation of the Minsk Protocol are absent because Russia refuses to implement it ».

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Is it necessary to re-discuss European security?

“This is a critical moment for European and global security for the rules-based international order. That is why the United States has supported the Polish president in launching a renewed dialogue on European security, because we believe that the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the UN Charter are under attack and it is necessary to discuss how to enforce them. We will in no way support a reset or easing of these principles, but we do want to promote compliance with measures that include the control of conventional weapons such as intermediate-range ballistic missiles. But these agreed principles should be respected rather than revising the system. Our response to Russia was clear.

Former Moscow Ambassador Michael McFaul stated in an article in Foreign Affairs that “the Vienna documents do little to increase transparency, and the OSCE has become largely ineffective because Moscow objects to its election monitoring efforts.” And to protect human rights.” McFaul says we should come up with some kind of Helsinki 2.0.
What is your opinion?

“With all due respect to Mike, who is a good friend, it does not mean that the Vienna or OSCE documents are ineffective. Every principle adopted and every international agreement depends on the political will of member states. Helsinki final law binds states to a number of principles ranging from freedoms fundamental to the sovereignty and integrity of territory, and the inviolability of borders – which are fundamental to the maintenance of a rules-based international order.But when a state decides to violate these principles, it is not the job of the OSCE or the United Nations to impose control over them, but rather for the participating states, which You must mobilize and pressure that country to change its course, and that’s exactly what you see. At work now. There is unprecedented unity among NATO members, the European Union and others, in opposition to Russia’s violation of fundamental principles.”

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Could this unprecedented unity be the reason behind Russia’s decision not to participate in the meeting requested by Ukraine in the OSCE, preferring, for example, to individual meetings with leaders who go to Moscow?

“I think there is an element of truth in this. Russia feels that no OSCE countries support it. On February 8, when the launch of the Security Dialogue was discussed, 44 countries expressed their support for the initiative, only Russia opposed, Belarus has intervened.

Is there a fear that Russian forces will remain in Belarus even after military exercises?

“There is certainly a possibility that they will remain in Belarus after that date. There is also another aspect: in April last year there was a large mobilization of Russian forces and although most of the equipment was withdrawn, a lot of equipment remains. Now the Russians cannot keep 120,000 soldiers On the Ukrainian border are ready to fight but what will they leave behind when they leave? What platforms and what equipment? There is a document, the Vienna Document, which was adopted and then renewed in 2011 specifically to address such cases: a measure for transparency in the military that allows states to monitor and inspect military exercises For other countries to make sure they don’t prepare for operations.However, we are here in 2022 to see Russia violate not only the spirit of those documents but also their perversion by refusing to notify and allowing maneuvers to be monitored on a series of pretexts.This reduces transparency and increases suspicion and tension.This is why That what President Biden and others in the administration are doing is publicizing what the Russians are doing on the ground.”

Feb 18, 2022 (change on Feb 18, 2022 | 13:35)

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