MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is not conducting any unusual or unplanned military activities near its border with Ukraine, the country’s foreign ministry said Wednesday, adding that attempts to accuse Moscow of building up troops in the region are unfounded.
“The US and Ukraine have no reason to worry. Russia has said several times that it is not conducting any unusual or unplanned military activity on its territory near the Ukrainian border,” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement added that Russian military activity has been verified by international inspections under the so-called Vienna document and observation flights under the Open Skies Treaty last month.
The Vienna document is an international treaty of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), aimed at building up trust among members.
The Open Skies Treaty, which entered into force in 2002, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities. Russia ratified the treaty in 2001.
The Foreign Ministry said that “everyday activity by Russian forces on its national territory does not threaten the security of the United States of America or other OSCE member states.”
“The attempts to accuse Russia of building up armed forces are groundless,” the statement said.
The ministry also explained the reasons for its absence at a joint meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and OSCE Forum on Monday, convened at the initiative of the US and Ukraine to discuss the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
“Russia saw no sense of meeting the demands of the US and Ukrainian delegations that have launched an anti-Russian campaign in the OSCE,” the ministry said, warning other OSCE member states against whipping up tensions around Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the OSCE is not ready to provide an unbiased assessment of the situation in Ukraine, judging by recent remarks of head official Astrid Thors, the OSCE’s High Commissioner on National Minorities, who overlooked atrocities committed by extremists and nationalists in Ukraine, while expressing concern over the Ukrainian and Tatar population of Crimea.