Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 13 November 2014
The Delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Mr. Ilkka Kanerva to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive presentation.
As this is your first appearance before the Permanent Council in your capacity as the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, let me use this opportunity to congratulate you on the election and wish you every success in your activities. We are confident that under your leadership the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will further enhance its role in promoting adherence to agreed OSCE principles and commitments and thus addressing current grave security threats in the OSCE area.
For months the OSCE has sought to stop the flagrant breach by the Russian Federation of the Helsinki Final Act principles and numerous OSCE commitments. In violation of those principles Russia illegally occupied and annexed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, supported the illegal armed groups and their criminal activities in the east of Ukraine, resorted to direct incursion in the Donbas and now builds up its military presence there. All these developments violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, severely damaged the European security architecture and continue to pose unpredictable threats to security of Ukraine and Europe.
Ukraine values the strong commitment to OSCE principles, demonstrated by parliamentarians through adoption of the OSCE PA Resolution on Clear, Gross and Uncorrected Violations of Helsinki Principles by the Russian Federation at its Annual Session in Baku in July 2014. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly added its strong voice to the condemnation of violation by the Russian Federation of the Helsinki principles and reiterated its unequivocal support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
We see it highly important that the Parliamentary Assembly continues its efforts to seek full implementation of this Resolution. These efforts would further strengthen the role of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in support for de-escalation on the ground and facilitation of peaceful resolution of the situation in and around Ukraine.
We remain convinced that the Minsk agreements have formed a road-map for sustainable peaceful resolution in Ukraine’s east based on respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Ukraine. We therefore deeply deplore and find it extremely damaging that the Russia-supported militants and Moscow have chosen to act in violation of the letter and spirit of those agreements.
We fully share your view, Mr. President, on the urgent need for proper and effective state border monitoring by the OSCE, which is currently restricted by a very limited mandate of the OSCE observers only at two Russian border check-points.
One of the most visible contributions of the OSCE PA to the overall activities of the OSCE relates to election observation. We highly appreciate the OSCE PA’s active engagement in monitoring the early presidential elections in Ukraine on 25 May 2014 and the early parliamentary elections on 26 October 2014. Despite unprecedented security challenges, those elections represented a big accomplishment of the country, as they were held in a democratic way and in line with international commitments.
The successful conduct of those elections was crucially important for consolidating the democratic progress of Ukraine and inclusive political dialogue at national level, ensuring political and economic stability of Ukraine, as well as reaffirms Ukraine’s commitment to the reform process.
Let me conclude by reiterating Ukraine’s commitment to continue open and constructive co-operation with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and thanking you, Mr. President, for assurances of firm support of Ukraine’s democratic reform efforts and resolution of the crisis in and around Ukraine based on fundamental OSCE principles of political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.