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Russia refuses to disclose information about its armed forces to OSCE
23:54, 06.03.2023 |
3519 | 0

Russia has refused to fulfil its obligations under the so-called Vienna Document of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which provides for the annual exchange of data on armed forces, defence planning and military budgets between 57 of its participants.

Konstantin Gavrilov, Head of the Russian delegation at the military security talks in Vienna, in a comment to RBC, as reported by European Pravda

Moscow announced its decision on 16 January 2023, when Konstantin Gavrilov sent a corresponding letter to the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sinisha Benzun, who was the chairman of the OSCE Forum on security cooperation.

In it, he states that Moscow will not provide information about its armed forces for 2023, as required by section I of the Vienna document, due to the Czech Republic's decision to "suspend its obligations towards Russia", as well as to Ukraine's statement about its "refusal to participate in the annual exchange of military information in 2023" and send appropriate notifications.

"The key principle of diplomacy is the principle of reciprocity. We could not allow our information to get to the said states if data on the Russian Armed Forces were transferred," Gavrilov told RBC.

At the same time, Russia accused some states of violating the Vienna Document: for example, Bulgaria, Poland, and France allegedly did not invite Russia to their military bases, and the Netherlands, Moscow claims, excluded the Russian Federation from the list of countries that receive messages about the armed forces from them.

The US Arms Control Association, which was the first to report on Russia's refusal to implement the OSCE Vienna Document, notes that as of February 2023, 50 countries provided information about their military activities, of which four – Armenia, Mongolia, Poland and Ukraine – did so with a delay.

At the same time, this is not Moscow's first refusal to fulfil its relevant obligations. In 2021, the Russian Federation ignored a request from Ukraine regarding explanations of military activities near its borders, insisting that it "is not obliged" to do so.

And in early 2022, before the start of the full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia announced that it would no longer accept visits to verify the information part of data exchange and inspections of certain areas to monitor military activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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