ON THE EXTENSION OF THE DEPLOYMENT OF OSCE OBSERVERS TO TWO RUSSIAN CHECKPOINTS ON THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN BORDER
under Paragraph IV.1 (A) 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
By the Delegation of Ukraine:
In connection with the PC Decision on the extension of the deployment of OSCE observers to two Russian checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian Border, the Delegation of Ukraine would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1 (A) 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Since establishment of this OSCE presence in accordance with the Berlin Joint Declaration of 2 July 2014, the security situation in the east of Ukraine has sharply deteriorated due to the activities of the terrorist organizations operating in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which receive reinforcements and armaments from the territory of the Russian Federation.
Deterioration of the situation and reports of this very limited OSCE presence at two Russian checkpoints have confirmed the need for expansion of the mandate to effectively address the existing grave challenges along the Ukrainian-Russian state border which was the primary concern of the meeting in Berlin. The mandate of the Mission should cover all sections of the border, adjacent to the terrorist-controlled areas of Donbas.
The Mission should also operate freely along the “green” border between the checkpoints to ensure comprehensive border monitoring; and should be able to conduct unannounced inspections.
Such meaningful monitoring is necessary until the SMM can effectively perform this function on the Ukrainian side of the border and control is resumed by Ukrainian border guards.
The Minsk Protocol of 5 September which was also signed by representative of the Russian Federation envisages in paragraph 4 the OSCE permanent monitoring on the Ukrainian-Russian state border and verification with the creation of security zone in border areas of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
Full implementation of paragraph 4 of the Minsk protocol is inextricably linked to accomplishing the objectives of establishing a sustainable cease-fire regime and ultimate peaceful resolution in the east of Ukraine based on President’s Poroshenko Peace Plan, the Minsk arrangements, the OSCE principles and commitments.
We therefore deeply regret that the Russian Federation has again refused to support the proposal for significantly expanding the currently limited mandate of the OSCE observers at two Russian checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian Border. Such position of the Russian Federation puts into serious question its commitment to implementing agreed arrangements, its commitment to de-escalation and peaceful resolution of the situation in the east of Ukraine.
We urge the Russian Federation to demonstrate its full commitment to implementation of the Minsk arrangements in good faith, to allow for proper and comprehensive permanent monitoring on the Ukrainian-Russian state border and verification by the OSCE.
We reiterate that resumption of efficient control at the Ukrainian-Russian border under the OSCE monitoring is critical for sustainable de-escalation and peaceful resolution of the situation in the east of Ukraine.
The Delegation of Ukraine requests that this statement be attached to the decision and recorded in the journal of the day.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.”