Ukraine requests continuation of visit by unarmed personnel
*** UPDATE as of 13 March, 08:00 - Twenty-seven OSCE participating State responded positively to the second request of Ukraine and are sending their personnel: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA. The total number of personnel is 50 people.***
VIENNA, 11 March 2014, 12:00 – A continuation of the visit by unarmed personnel has been requested by Ukraine, this time to cover the south and east of the country.
So far, 14 OSCE participating States have responded to the request, with numbers expected to rise over the next days. They are Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
The visit is taking place under Chapter III of the Vienna Document 2011, which allows for voluntary hosting of visits to dispel concerns about unusual military activities. It is expected to continue until Sunday March 16th.
A first visit to Crimea was organised from 5 to 12 March 2014, when the group was unable to move beyond checkpoints at the administrative border.
The Vienna Document 2011 is one of the main confidence-building measures developed by the OSCE. Under this document, all participating States are required to share information on their military forces, equipment and defence planning. The Document also provides for inspections and evaluation visits that can be conducted on the territory of any participating State that has armed forces.
Note to editors: Chapter III of the Vienna Document 2011 (full text see athttp://www.osce.org/fsc/86597)
VOLUNTARY HOSTING OF VISITS TO DISPEL CONCERNS ABOUT MILITARY ACTIVITIES
(18) In order to help to dispel concerns about military activities in the zone of application for CSBMs, participating States are encouraged to invite other participating States to take part in visits to areas on the territory of the host State in which there may be cause for such concerns. Such invitations will be without prejudice to any action taken under paragraphs (16) to (16.3).
(18.1) States invited to participate in such visits will include those which are understood to have concerns. At the time invitations are issued, the host State will communicate to all other participating States its intention to conduct the visit, indicating the reasons for the visit, the area to be visited, the States invited and the general arrangements to be adopted.
(18.2) Arrangements for such visits, including the number of the representatives from other participating States to be invited, will be at the discretion of the host State, which will bear the in-country costs. However, the host State should take appropriate account of the need to ensure the effectiveness of the visit, the maximum amount of openness and transparency and the safety and security of the invited representatives. It should also take account, as far as practicable, of the wishes of visiting representatives as regards the itinerary of the visit. The host State and the States which provide visiting personnel may circulate joint or individual comments on the visit to all other participating States.
For more details about the activation of the Vienna Document 2011 provisions, see http://www.osce.org/cpc/34427, pages 17-20.