Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 11 December 2014
The Delegation of Ukraine reiterates again its resolute protest over the illegal detention in the Russian Federation of a member of the Ukrainian Parliament Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, Oleksiy Cherniy, Hennadiy Afanasiev, Oleksandr Kolchenko and other Ukrainian citizens, who were abducted from the territory of Ukraine.
We register no positive developments in relation to their cases despite strong international condemnation of these illegal actions of Russia and calls to halt this criminal practice and release abducted foreign citizens.
We draw attention of the Permanent Council to the failure of the Russian law-enforcement authorities to present any credible evidence of their guilt as they have all been detained on trumped-up charges.
We are deeply alarmed by reports regarding on-going pressure and intimidations that the illegally detained Ukrainian citizens face behind bars as well as violations of their procedural rights, including access of their relatives and Ukrainian consular officers.
We strongly condemn the illegal actions of the Russian authorities which are unjustified and politically motivated and run counter the norms of international law and OSCE principles and commitments.
We reiterate again that these Ukrainian citizens are political prisoners in Russia and urge the Russian authorities to release them immediately and provide a safe return to Ukraine.
Under the current circumstances we request the OSCE ODIHR to initiate trial monitoring of court proceedings in relation to the abovementioned Ukrainian citizens, who are detained in Russia in contravention of international legal norms and principles. We regard the ODIHR trial monitoring to be an appropriate OSCE tool in addressing the flagrant human rights violations and promoting of eradication of the phenomenon of political prisoners.
Today the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved an appeal to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the President of the Russian Federation to release N.Savchenko and other detained Ukrainian citizens.
We also reiterate our persistent call on the Swiss Chairmanship to use its mandate to the full in facilitating the release of abducted and illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.
Thank you, Mr.Chairman.