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Official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPR

The 27th of April, 2014

Of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Donetsk People's Republic Regarding
the Detention of a Military Mission
in the Vicinity of the Town of Slavyansk

On the 26th of April, a Military Mission comprising officers from the OSCE countries (four representatives of Germany, as well as representatives of Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden) was detained in the area of the town of Slavyansk.

The first statements of the Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the statements of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Germany and other countries demanding immediate release of the "detained OSCE representatives" addressed to the Donetsk People's Republic leave us perplexed.

We would like to bring into focus the fact that the official OSCE documents, such as the OSCE Response to the Crisis in Ukraine provided civil OSCE observers only and stated that "Any change in deployment shall be subject to a decision of the Permanent Council." Thereby, the persons detained by us are patently not empowered as agreed upon at the Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council that adopted the decision on deployment of a special OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine (Decision No. 1117) and therefore, they are NOT "OSCE observers".

Now the Kiev government refers to its right to invite military observers, trying to substantiate its position by the provision of the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures

We have to draw attention to the fact that both Kiev authorities and the OSCE read this Document selectively and forget many key provision of this Document that are inconvenient for them. We have to remind our forgetful international partners of the following things:

Pursuant to the text of that document, it regulates the armed forces of its participant countries, including Ukraine, "down to and including brigade/regiment or equivalent level". Whereupon, under the Vienna Document, observable military units falling within the scope of the Document, are: "infantry, armoured, mechanized, motorized rifle, artillery, combat engineer and army aviation units". The Document does not contain any provisions permitting one to interpret this list loosely.

We would like to know what kind of "infantry, armoured, mechanized, motorized rifle, artillery, combat engineer and army aviation units" down to and including brigade/regiment level the Inspectors hoped to detect in the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk and in what manner their visit is connected with the limitations defined precisely by the Vienna Document. We would also like to receive clarification why the military inspectors have mapped light barricades occupied by small groups of civilians in detail but their maps bear no traces of monitoring the fighting material, aircraft and regular troops subordinate to Kiev that are deployed in the vicinity of the towns of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Izyum, up to 15,000 strong and being expressly subject to inspection under the Vienna Document.

Besides, we must point out the fact that on before the detention of the military mission members the Kiev authorities explicitly ignored their obligations under the Vienna Document that imposes certain obligations on its participant countries in case of warlike incidents.

"Participating States will co-operate by reporting and clarifying hazardous incidents of a military nature… Each participating State will designate a point to contact in case of such hazardous incidents and will so inform all other participating States." (Clauses 17 and 17.1 of the Vienna Document). To the best of our knowledge, no notification about Kiev's military actions was dispatched, no "point of contact in case of hazardous incidents" was established either.

In this connection, the question arises as to what was the formal reason for sending this Military Mission if the parties have not even reported any "hazardous incidents".

Besides, the purpose of inviting a foreign military mission is defined by the Vienna Documents as follows: "to help to dispel concerns about military activities in the zone of application for CSBMs… States invited to participate in such visits will include those which are understood to have concerns."

We insistently enquire what concerns of military nature Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden ever had in respect of the hazards arising for them from the town of Slavyansk, as well as when, where and how those concerns were worded. Unfortunately, in spite of the principle of "transparency" of all the above activities proclaimed by the Vienna Document, we were unable to detect on our own any traces of compliance with the procedures established by the requirements of the Vienna Document on part of that group of international partners. We have to presume in advance that no evidence and documents proving the legitimacy of organizing and dispatching the Military Mission detained on the 26th of April in Slavyansk will ever be presented, because there is no such evidence..

We proceed from the premise that if the indignant representatives of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden had fulfilled their obligations within the framework of the OSCE conscientiously, and if the Military Mission inspection had been sent to Ukraine with the goals, in accordance with the procedure and with the authorization expressly declared in the Vienna Document and without leaving their framework, the situation in question would have never arisen.

In this connection, we have to declare that we disavow the legitimacy of this Mission and that the detention of the representative of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden until all the circumstances and are clarified and the actual goals of their activities are found out is legitimate and justified.

At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic is ready to immediately take part in consultations on the procedures and terms of releasing any detained persons after we receive official appeals from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the states concerned or the OSCE to our address. In case we get the consent of the Russian party on which we count, such negotiations, if they become necessary, may be held in the city of Moscow, in the office of our Moscow Mission, since the OSCE Mission and the diplomatic representatives of all the countries concerned are located in Moscow as well.

E. Gubareva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic.

(Перевод Е. Цыпин)

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