Today the representatives of the OSCE participating States have assembled in Vienna for urgent meeting of the Preparatory Committee of the OSCE Permanent Council in relation to aggravation of the situation around Ukraine.
Recent aggressive actions by the Russian Federation in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea give rise to deep concerns over the security in the OSCE region, which appears to be under serious danger of irreversible damage. The overwhelming majority of the delegations qualified these actions as violation of the OSCE principles, which Russia has committed to adhere under the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine Ihor Prokopchuk particularly stressed that these aggressive actions came from a state, which by signing the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, as one of the states-guarantors, had committed itself to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as to respect independence, sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ambassador expressed its confidence that it was imperative to immediately take actions that would end an assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty, deescalate tensions and allow to resolve all issues through political dialogue.
Almost all speakers, including those representing the EU Member States, the United States, Turkey, Canada, Georgia, Norway and Azerbaijan, expressed their full support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia was called to refrain from interference in internal affairs of Ukraine.
The majority of delegations expressed their extreme concern over the escalation due to military provocations by the Russian Federation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as well as over the yesterday’s decision by the Federation’s Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia to authorizing the possibility of using Russian armed forces in the territory of Ukraine.
There were numerous calls for immediate dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and prevent what may have an unprecedented impact on the regional security. In this regard, the United States and the United Kingdom confirmed their readiness to hold consultations in line with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
The OSCE toolbox, in common view, could be helpful for settlement the crisis by peaceful means and should be used immediately.
Swiss OSCE Chairmanship, for its part, informed of its steps already taken and planned to address the crisis. The list includes, in particular, tomorrow’s meeting of the Chair with the Russian Foreign Minister, visit of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and OSCE Chair’s Personal Envoy on Ukraine to Kyiv and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, visit of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media to Kyiv as well as the ideas to establish an international Contact Group on Ukraine. Possible options of monitoring mechanisms will also be considered.
Tomorrow the situation around Ukraine will be a subject to discussion at the special OSCE Permanent Council meeting.