Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna at the special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 4 November 2014
The Delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his thoughtful presentation.
We are grateful to the Secretary-General for his commitment to the settlement of the crisis in and around Ukraine on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, including full respect to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Government of Ukraine appreciates the important work carried out by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. The findings of its recent 6th report testified yet again to numerous violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the occupied Crimea as well as those committed by the illegal armed groups in Ukraine’s east, bolstered by an increasing number of foreign fighters, including Russian citizens, as well as Russian regular troops.
By adopting the UN General Assembly Resolution “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” the international community has expressed its strong support to Ukraine as well as full adherence to the fundamental principles of international law, undermined by Russia’s military aggression against my country.
This aggression breached the UN Charter and also struck at the core of the OSCE – the founding principles, guiding relations between the participating States under the 1975 Helsinki Final Act. For the first time in Europe since the Second World War military force was used by one state against another neighbouring state to change borders as Russia illegally occupied and annexed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
The security threats have not diminished since March as Russia resorted to wide-ranging support to the terrorists groups in Ukraine’s east and direct military incursion of its regular troops into the Ukrainian territory.
Present actions of the Russian Federation, which contravene the Minsk agreements, lead to further escalation of the situation on the ground. Despite strong international condemnation of the illegal so-called “elections” in Donbas on 2 November, and warnings of its destructive impact on the peace process, including those made by the UN Secretary-General and the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the Russian Federation opts for recognizing this illegal exercise, thus taking responsibility for violating again the fundamental principles of international law, for breaching the Minsk Protocol which it had signed just weeks ago as a commitment to sustainable peaceful resolution.
I would like to reiterate that no consideration of whatever nature, whether political, economic, military or otherwise, may serve as a justification of aggression under international law. The present violations and threats to security arise from actions of one country – the Russian Federation – which as permanent member of the UN Security Council is supposed to bear special responsibility for peace and security.
It remains of paramount importance that all international actors, including the UN and the OSCE, continue to stay firm and united in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and in support of Ukraine’s efforts to de-escalation on the basis of the Peace plan of the President of Ukraine.
We will continue to highly value your efforts, Mr. Secretary-General, for returning peace to the east of Ukraine and preventing aggression to take an upper hand in international relations.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.