Baltic States request meeting with Belarus within the Vienna document

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Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania requested the Polish OSCE Chairmanship to meet with Belarus and other interested parties within the framework of the Vienna Document.

The meeting will be held today, February 14, according to the Twitter account of the Polish Chairmanship.

On February 9, as part of the Vienna Document, the three Baltic countries asked Belarus to explain their unusual military activities. On February 11, Belarus replied to the interpellation, but Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia considered it unsatisfactory.

In the request, the three countries asked Belarus to explain the unusual and unplanned deployment of troops during the drills on the territory of Belarus, the number of troops participating in the exercises, the use of military equipment and the planned return of troops to places of permanent deployment. Minsk’s response did not contain detailed information on the scale of the exercises, weapons systems and the number of troops, equipment and weapons participating in the exercises, as well as on the plan for the return of Russian troops to the places of permanent deployment after the exercises, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense said.

A request to explain military activities was also sent by Ukraine to Russia. Having received no response, Kyiv demanded a meeting with Russia and all OSCE participating countries «to discuss the issue of strengthening and relocating its [Russia’s] troops along our border and in the temporarily occupied Crimea.»

The 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures provides that countries inform each other about military activities if they involve 9,000 or more people, including the support troops. According to the document, an OSCE Member State concerned about unusual military activities has the right to request clarification from the State where these activities are taking place.


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