Today, on 3 March 2014, the representatives of the OSCE participating States have assembled in Vienna for special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in relation to further escalation in Ukraine.
Almost all OSCE participating States remain concerned over the aggressive actions by Russia in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which question the foundation of the regional security – Helsinki principles, guiding relations between the participating States.
Outlining the recent developments in Crimea Permanent Representative of Ukraine Ihor Prokopchuk qualified Russian actions as violation of its international commitments under both international arrangements and bilateral agreements with Ukraine. He urged the OSCE participating States to demonstrate full solidarity with the Ukrainian people in this decisive moment of its history. Among those steps needed to resolve the current crisis peacefully the Ukrainian Ambassador called dispatching a monitoring and fact-finding mission.
Almost all speakers expressed their full support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The European Union, in particular, strongly condemned clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Against the background of Russia’s military actions the EU positively assessed the restraint of Ukraine in responding to provocations.
The United States, represented by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, condemned Russian actions as violation of the international law, norms and principles of the OSCE.
Many Ambassadors urged for immediate dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation. The OSCE toolbox, in common view, would have a facilitating effect and contribute to the efforts to resolve the crisis by peaceful means.
The Swiss OSCE Chairmanship considers in this regard establishing international Contact Group on Ukraine and sending a monitoring mission to Crimea. Strengthening the co-operation between Ukraine and the OSCE institutions is also among the expected steps.