Russia continues hindering OSCE observers on both sides of Ukraine-Russia border – Armed Forces General Staff
Russia continues to ignore proposals to admit OSCE monitors to the border areas on the Ukrainian-Russian border, Verification Department head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Andriy Hudz has said.
At a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday, he noted that the concern of the OSCE states is caused by the presence of a significant number of Russian army units in Rostov region, along the border with Ukraine and their sudden build-up during the exercises.
"Russia ignores the proposals from Ukraine and other leading OSCE states on admission of the OSCE inspection teams to the 25th zone along the border with Ukraine on the territory of the Rostov region, which is now closed by Russia even for observation from the air," said General Staff representative.
He also stressed that Russia systematically resorts to unpredictable military activities and actively uses gaps in the Vienna Document of 2011.
"In particular, the Russian Federation uses undeclared military exercises and training below thresholds as an instrument of foreign policy for demonstrating military force with a view to significantly affecting security and stability in the OSCE region. It resorts to masking the activities of troops and their fragmentation, and thus hides the real number involved personnel and weapons, including the number of departures of aircraft and helicopters," Hudz said.
He recalled that since 2014, the number of military incidents in the air and at sea between the armed forces of Russia and NATO countries has increased.
"Given the opaque nature of the unscheduled exercises, in the current situation they can easily be perceived as destabilizing and, thus, cause increased distrust and military and political tensions in the OSCE's areas of responsibility," he said.