Russia Ready to Discuss Ukraine Within Framework of Security Cooperation Forum

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is ready to discuss military aspects of the crisis in Ukraine within the framework of the OSCE’s Forum for Security Cooperation, the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks on military security and arms control said Monday.

However, the discussions should not be linked to chapter three of the Vienna document, which defines mechanisms for consultation and cooperation regarding unusual military activities, the ministry said.

“The Russian side is ready to discuss the military aspects surrounding the crisis in Ukraine within the framework of the Forum for Security Cooperation and its working bodies, as well as through bilateral meetings, but with no relation to mechanisms [defined] in chapter III of the 2011 Vienna Document,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that first of all, the discussions should be held about “an immediate end to the active phase of the Kiev regime’s deadly punitive operation against residents of southeastern Ukraine.”

The Kiev government deployed about 11,000 troops, 160 tanks, over 230 armored vehicles at least 150 artillery systems and an unknown number of combat aircraft in the area.

The ministry said that the fact that Kiev was deploying such massive military force in the rebel region demonstrated “the possibility of an indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force, including the destruction of whole cities” and the OSCE discussions should focus on the Kiev government’s actions instead.

According to satellite images obtained by RIA Novosti, Ukraine has been building up troops and hardware in Slaviansk suburbs where clashes between pro-federalization protesters and Ukrainian interim government continue.

Kiev authorities are conducting a special operation against pro-federalization protesters in eastern Ukraine amid reports of casualties and wounded. The city of Slaviansk faces the fiercest clashes.

The blocking of the city was the goal of second stage of the special operation, which began Friday.

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