ALEXANDER YAKOVENKO, OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN FOR RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY, COMMENTS ON SIGNING THE DOCUMENT ON CONFIDENCE- AND SECURITY-BUILDING MEASURES IN BLACK SEA AREA
QUESTION: A Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in the Black Sea Area was signed in Kiev on April 25 this year. How is this new document going to promote security in the Black Sea region and which countries are its signatories?
ANSWER: First of all, I would like to point out that the Russian side is satisfied with the successful completion of talks on confidence- and security-building measures in the Black Sea area. This is one more step forward in consolidating cooperation and stability in the Black Sea region. In combination with the Agreement on the Creation of Black Sea Naval Operational Group Blackseafor, signed by the coastal countries last April, the Document on Confidence-Building Measures forms an integral mechanism of naval interaction in the region.
Ukraine was the one to come out with the initiative. The negotiations opened in June 1998, to be held in ten rounds through November 2001. The following six coastal nations are signatories to the Document: Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. Russia's main goal has been attained-for the first time in the sphere of practical military control, confidence-building measures will apply to naval activity. Among other things envisaged, the sides will exchange all kinds of information, including annual naval schedules and notifications of forthcoming events. There are segments devoted to the development of naval cooperation between the Black Sea nations. The resultant document is a quality one.
QUESTION: When will the Document go into effect, and are there any plans to create mechanisms for the implementation of the agreements reached?
ANSWER: The Document goes into force at the beginning of 2003. Naturally, primary attention will be paid to its consistent and thorough implementation. It is likely that as early as this year's second half, an expert meeting will be convened to discuss practical aspects of the implementation of the Document, including information exchange and event planning. This meeting could work out a uniform scheme for the parties to furnish data on their naval forces as well as discuss particularities of using communication channels to implement the understandings reached.
QUESTION: What is the Russian Foreign Ministry's role in the development and execution of the Document?
ANSWER: The newly adopted Document was elaborated with the Russian Foreign Ministry's direct participation. Now it is starting an independent life of its own. But we don't think the foreign ministries of the member states should lose sight of the Document. The Russian side has suggested we should gather at least once a year at the level of ministry department heads or deputy heads to discuss the current state of affairs in terms of the Document's implementation and to develop appropriate recommendations.
Information on the Document is now to be submitted to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In accordance with the established practice, its text will be included into an OSCE Secretariat-revised collection of bilateral and multilateral documents aimed at consolidating regional security on the European continent.