Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna at the special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council
Disregarding the clear-cut and just position of Ukraine, the OSCE and the international community, on 2 November 2014 so called “elections” were organized by illegal armed groups in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, Ukraine, which are under their de facto control. By proceeding with this illegitimate exercise, its organizers violated the legislation of Ukraine and the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, thus delivering a serious damage to the process of peaceful settlement.
Ukraine does not recognize these illegal and illegitimate so called “elections”, their results are null and void. We strongly condemn their organization and all forces who stood behind this illegal and irresponsible act and who demonstrated their interest in derailing the peaceful resolution of the situation in the east of Ukraine based on the Minsk agreements.
We call upon all OSCE participating States to not recognize and condemn those so called “elections”.
We deeply deplore that the Russian Federation, despite calls by the OSCE community, decided to give recognition to those illegal so called “elections”. By doing so, the Russian Federation took responsibility for violating again the fundamental OSCE principles, for breaching the Minsk Protocol which it had signed as commitment to achieving sustainable peaceful settlement. Moscow deliberately now embarks the course of further escalation of the situation.
Let me reiterate that the only legitimate elections in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine and pursuant to the Minsk arrangements are those that have been scheduled by the Law of Ukraine “On Special Order of Local Government in Certain Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions” for 7 December 2014. Ukraine continues to be ready and interested in conducting the local voting on 7 December, in a free and fair manner, under the OSCE monitoring, to see legitimate representatives elected through a legitimate voting procedure under the Ukrainian legislation. We call on all participating States to demonstrate firmness and persistence in seeking full implementation of the Minsk arrangements. We urge the Russian Federation to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to strictly observe the Minsk agreements and exert its influence on the illegal armed groups it backs to do likewise. Only strict adherence to full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements would testify genuine interest in de-escalation and addressing many real problems of the people in the east of Ukraine.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.