EU Statement in response to the early warning issued by the OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid

OSCE Permanent Council No. 1355, Vienna, 17 February 2022.

1. We thank the OSCE Secretary General for giving early warning on the risk of further
escalation of the already dire security situation with regard to Ukraine. This action is
in line with the tasking of the Vilnius 3/11 MC Decision on elements of the Conflict

2. We echo the call of the Secretary General for de-escalation and for full respect of the
OSCE principles and commitments that underpin European security, including those
enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act.

3. The EU strongly believes that dialogue is the key path to strengthening our
comprehensive security and safeguarding peace and stability in the OSCE region.
We again call on Russia to immediately de-escalate, to abide by international law and
to engage constructively and in good faith in dialogue through the established
international mechanisms, including within the OSCE.

4. In this context, we regret that Russia did not attend the meeting organised under the risk reduction mechanism of the Vienna Document on Tuesday regarding unusual
military activities of the Russian Federation. This is not in line with Russia’s
commitments in the politico-military area and it does not dispel the raised concerns
of Ukraine and many other participating States. We take note of the statements by
Russian authorities that some of the Russian troops currently deployed at Ukraine’s
borders and in the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula should be returning to their
bases. We will continue to closely monitor developments on the ground in this regard.

5. We stand ready to make full use of all available tools, procedures and mechanisms
within the OSCE, including the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue, and we
call on other participating States to do the same.

6. Finally, the EU underlines the high value of the SMM in observing and reporting facts
on the ground to the international community and as an active part of the OSCE crisis
management structures.

ALBANIA*, the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of
the European Economic Area, as well as UKRAINE, the REPUBLIC of MOLDOVA,
GEORGIA and ANDORRA align themselves with this statement.
* Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the
Stabilisation and Association Process