Vienna, 20 March 2014 – Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andrii Deshchytsia addressed today the OSCE Permanent Council on the situation in Ukraine and the OSCE engagement on the ground following illegitimate “referendum” in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and de-facto annexation of the territory of this Ukrainian region by the Russian Federation.
“Actions undertaken by the Russian Federation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea are to be qualified as an act of aggression against Ukraine,” said the Acting Minister, adding that this situation is “the most flagrant violation of international law in the OSCE region since the times of World War II”.
Given Russia’s attempts to undermine the OSCE efforts to engage effectively to the situation on the ground, in particular blocking the decision to send an OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine, Andrii Deshchytsia has expressed his hope that the OSCE can rise up to the challenge and continue to be an organization whose opinion and actions matter.
Almost all the OSCE participating States have taken a strong stance on Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine, thus demonstrating how isolated the Russian Federation is in this issue. The delegations, including those of EU and its Member States, US, Canada, Turkey, Norway, Georgia and Moldova expressed their respect to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within existing borders. They also condemned Russia’s actions as violating the fundamental norms and principles of international law, as well as the Russian Federation’s commitments stemming from its participation in the OSCE.
(Picture by Micky Kroell/OSCE)