NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow outlined key steps needed to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic security system in a speech at the OSCE Security Days conference in Vienna on Monday, Oct. 3, Censor.NET reports citing the press office of the Alliance.
The deputy secretary general noted that the security situation across the Euro-Atlantic area has deteriorated markedly since Russia illegally annexed Crimea and launched its ongoing aggression against eastern Ukraine two years ago.
Vershbow highlighted that the OSCE is the most appropriate, most inclusive forum available for discussing and resolving issues of military transparency, risk reduction and confidence-building.
"Making more extensive use of the OSCE as a venue for negotiations would also help to restore trust and rebuild confidence among all 57 OSCE members," he added.
Ambassador Vershbow encouraged Russia to engage with NATO Allies in strengthening the Vienna Document, including lowering the thresholds for notification and observation of military exercises.
In Ukraine, he noted that a critical confidence building measure would be to give the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission unimpeded access to disengagement areas, and unconditional access to the Ukraine-Russia border.
We know for sure that a lot of Russian soldiers are in the east of Ukraine, - NATO Deputy Secretary-General Vershbow(0)