News story | Date: 12/04/2021
– Norway is seriously concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in and around Ukraine. Norway calls on Russia to reduce tension by immediately reversing its military deployments, and by using its influence on the armed formations it backs to curb the ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
In recent weeks Russia has escalated tension through large military deployments in and around Ukraine. At the same time there has been a sharp increase in the number of ceasefire violations driven by the armed formations in eastern Ukraine, which the Russian Federation supplies with weapons, equipment and personnel.
Russia’s occupation and militarisation of the Crimean Peninsula, including recent deployments, are clear violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law. Russia’s military deployments on its own territory, close to the border with Ukraine, constitute a deliberate escalation of tension. Such a manifestation of force runs contrary to Russia’s commitments as an OSCE participating State.
On Saturday 10 April a military risk reduction meeting under the OSCE Vienna Document was held to discuss the situation. Russia chose not to attend the meeting.
Norway has consistently expressed its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. Norway also urges all parties to provide the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission unhindered access in accordance with its mandate.
– Sadly, the progress achieved through the strengthened ceasefire in eastern Ukraine that started on 27 July 2020 has been reversed by the recent actions of Russia and the armed formations it backs. We urge Russia to return to the negotiating table and in good faith seek a peaceful solution, starting by a renewed ceasefire, says Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide.