As Mr.Prokopchuk said in his speech, Russia's actions aimed at annexing Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea are in breach of imperative norms of international law, the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, bilateral and multilateral agreements, which guarantee Ukraine‘s territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and non-intervention in its internal affairs.
"Against this background and in connection with the Russian Federation’s illegal military actions on the sovereign territory of Ukraine in Crimea we emphasize the dire necessity to continue the use of the OSCE politico-military toolbox, particularly of the Vienna Document, in order to deescalate the situation and dispel deep and growing concerns about unusual military activities in and around Ukraine. This particular terminology does not adequately reflect the real situation on the ground as the language of the Vienna Document was not intended to deal with an aggression of one OSCE participating State against another OSCE participating State.
Ukraine reiterates its appreciation of the broad support of the OSCE participating
States for the use of the VD mechanisms and procedures to address legitimate security concerns of Ukraine. Since the access to the territory of the Crimean peninsula by the group of military observers, invited by Ukraine in accordance with the Chapter III of the Vienna Document, was blocked, the OSCE was prevented from receiving impartial information on military activities in Crimea from such reliable and competent source, as the mission of unarmed military experts.
Therefore, the Delegation of Ukraine deems it important to continue to fill this
informational gap by drawing your attention to the most recent illegal military actions of the Russian side in Crimea.
On 24 March Ukraine expressed protest to MFA of the Russian Federation as military assaults on Ukrainian military facilities, military and boarder guards units, warships continued unabated. By now mine-sweeper “Genichesk”, maritime mine-sweeper “Chernihiv”, landing ships “Kostyantyn Olshansky” and “Kirovograd” have been captured. The same applies to corvettes “Vinnytsa”, “Lutsk”, “Khmelnytsky”, “Ternopil”. The warships “Slavytych”, “Donbass” and submarine “Zaporizhzha” also fell under control of the foreign military. Yesterday the Ukrainian Navy ship “Cherkasy” was captured after a only repeated assault that employed speedboats and helicopters. I would remind this forum that
prior to these assaults four old Russian vessels had been sunk to prevent exit of Ukrainian ships from Donuzlav Lake to the open sea.
On 23-24 March Russian military seized 25-th separate coastal mobile rocket division on cape Fiolent and marine brigade permanent location in Feodosia, latter being carried out with the brutal use of force and beating of Ukrainian personnel. The Ukrainian military again demonstrated utmost restraint in response to avoid combat engagement and loss of life.
Russian military destroyed Ukrainian boarder control system in Crimea. All 20 border control crossing points as well as all 7 control points stopped their functioning. Command control system is out of order too. Gradual withdrawal of border guards and their families from Crimea is being carried out these days.
Detention or kidnapping of senior military officials of the Ukrainian Armed Forces
turns into a routine practice. As of today Deputy Commander of coastal defense of the Ukrainian Naval Forces major-general Voronenko, commander of the Balbeck garrison colonel Mamchur and commander of the military unit A4398 lieutenant-commander Demyanenko, to name a few, are detained by the Russian side. The MFA of Ukraine demanded from the Russian side to immediately release all detained Ukrainian servicemen and halt pirate-style assaults on Ukraine’s military facilities and Navy.
The Ukrainian military command has continuously sought agreements with the
Russian military in Crimea to stop provocations and illegal activities that could endanger human lives and to provide for political resolution of the conflict. At this critical moment it is important to continue efforts of the OSCE to prevent further escalation of the conflict and facilitate its peaceful resolution.
As you are aware, a visit of the group of military representatives from several OSCE participating States pursuant to paragraph 18 Chapter III of the Vienna Document “Risk reduction”, took place from 5 till 20 March on the territory of Ukraine. The duration of this mission was extended twice. In total 77 military observers representing 32 participating States and CPC were involved in this mission.
They familiarized themselves with several military sites and units in the South and
East of Ukraine, observed training activities of Ukrainian military and National Guard in the Central Ukraine, were briefed by the officials of the MoD and Ministry of Interior. Allow me to express our appreciation to the OSCE participating States, who reacted positively to Ukraine`s invitation and did their best to dispel concerns about military activities in the zone of application for CSBMs. In this context I would like to call on the Russian Federation to voluntarily host visits to dispel concerns about military activities in the regions of the Russian Federation adjacent to its border with Ukraine. This move would provide proof that the Russian Federation respects the Vienna Document provisions, one of which being the undertaking of the participating States to make progress in strengthening confidence and security.
I also would like to bring to your attention other verification activities which are
carried out in relation to the military actions of the Russian Federation in and around Ukraine. Starting from 20 to 28 March a group of military inspectors, led by our Danish colleagues, is on their visit to Ukraine under Chapter IX of the Vienna Document.
In accordance with the Vienna Document 2011, from 18 to 20 March Ukraine
conducted an inspection of the specified area in the Belgorod and Kursk regions of the Russian Federation adjacent to the Eastern border of Ukraine.
Four Ukrainian inspectors noted presence of one air assault battalion from the city of Pskov, one paratroops battalion from the city of Ryiazan and one paratroops battalion from the city of Toula, which carried out exercises in that area. The total number of personnel is 1100, and the number of armoured vehicles amounts to 120. Permanent locations of these formations are at a long distance from the area of training.
We would like to underscore that albeit Ukrainian inspection has noted no activity in the area, which is the subject to the preliminary notification under the VD 2011, Ukraine, given the current military-political situation, expresses its concern with regard to the presence of the three Russian Forces battalions out of their permanent bases in the area, which is in the immediate proximity to the Ukrainian border.
Continuation of these verification initiatives would provide for collecting facts on the ground to be used for future discussions on the possible application of the pol-mil toolbox with a view to deescalate the situation around Ukraine in the interest of all OSCE participating States, including my own country. We look forward to political will on the part of the Russian Federation to deescalate the situation and peacefully resolve the crisis around Crimea with full respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."