Delivered at the meeting of the OSCE permanent Council on 8 May 2014
Today and tomorrow people across the globe are paying tribute to millions of those who 69 years ago saved the world from a deadly threat of Nazism with its inhumanity, aggression, genocide, dictatorship and oppression. These days are also known as the Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, established by the UN General Assembly.
The Victory Day, celebrated in Ukraine on 9 May, is a particular holiday for the nation as about 8 million of Ukrainians paid ultimate price while defending their native soil, freedom and security of future generations. Tomorrow the Ukrainian people will revere the memory of fallen heroes and victims of the Second World War and honour the veterans who remain with us. We should all remember how the war started and the dear human price that was paid for the victory.
Unfortunately, this year we have to shorten the celebration program in a number of Ukrainian cities due to security reasons. For the first time ever Ukraine is marking the Victory Day being a subject to aggression with a part of its territory illegally occupied and annexed. Being a peaceful and non-block state, Ukraine could hardly imagine that it would again lose their lives defending the country, its unity and independence. However, this is a sad reality for today.
We witness cynical attempts to justify aggression against Ukraine as well as wide support to local extremists and terrorists in the east of the country with anti-fascist and anti-Nazi slogans. Allegations on threats to Russian speakers in Ukraine have been contrived to resort to aggression.
It shows that we must learn lessons from the past in pursuing our efforts to stop an aggression and prevent new war in Europe.
Let the memory of millions of losses in 1939-1945 serve as a constant reminder that we are not immune from the atrocities of war and inspire us to re-double our efforts towards ensuring peace across the entire OSCE region. This purpose is to be served by our common democratic commitments and full respect to the fundamental principles, enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act.
Thank you, Mr.Chairman!