MINSK, 17 June (BelTA) - Belarus has always strictly complied with the international treaties and agreements on disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, a Belarusian delegation said at the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation in Vienna on 16 June, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Austria.
"At the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation meetings, calls continue to be made by individual participating states for Belarus to return to its international obligations. In this regard, we would like to emphasize that Belarus has always strictly complied with the international treaties and agreements on disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, and often did even more than is prescribed by these documents. Belarus suspended verification activities in 2020 after other countries began to refuse us to conduct inspections amid the coronavirus infection," Belarus' representatives noted.
At the same time, Belarus continued to comply with the bilateral agreements on additional confidence- and security-building measures and, on a parity basis, invited Lithuania and Latvia to observe the West 2021 and Allied Resolve 2022 exercises.
"All this time, Belarus was open to working meetings of experts within the framework of bilateral agreements on additional confidence- and security-building measures," Belarus' representatives said during the forum. “We repeatedly informed our colleagues from Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine about this. Unfortunately, in 2021 and 2022 Belarusian experts were able to talk to colleagues from Latvia only. This indicates the desire of other states to politicize the issues rather than resolve them at the negotiating table."
It is also looks odd that they reproach Belarus for suspending verification activities while not mentioning the fact that a number of other countries, including Poland, are still closed for inspections and assessment visits due to the unfavorable epidemiological situation.
“Despite being non-invited to the Vienna Document 2011 event, which has created a precedent that will cast doubt on the further effective work of this mechanism, Belarus still intends to resume verification activities under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Vienna Document 2011 in the coming days. The relevant notifications will be sent through the proper channels. We hope that individual member states will abandon their boycott policy and will return to full compliance with their international obligations,” the Belarusian delegation said at the forum.
“This is an indispensable condition for returning the arms control process in the OSCE to a constructive course. Belarus, for its part, will continue to provide information on the Armed Forces activities on a voluntary basis. Last week combat readiness training was completed as part of the 2021-2022 plan. The third stage of testing the Belarusian response forces continued,” the delegation said.
“The Armed Forces units continue to carry out tasks to strengthen the protection of the state border of Belarus together with the border service and the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” said representatives of Belarus.
They also informed that next week military attaches of foreign countries accredited with the Belarusian Defense Ministry are expected to visit units of the Armed Forces that perform tasks to reinforce the state border of Belarus with Ukraine.
Belarus remains committed to mutually respectful, professional and depoliticized dialogue aimed at restoring trust and strengthening security in the region, the Belarusian delegation emphasized.