Delivered by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Serhiy Kyslytsya, Vienna, 23 June 2015
Ukraine has aligned itself with the statement, made by the European Union, which we fully support. At the same time the Delegation of Ukraine would like to make some additional remarks in the national capacity as Ukraine is now at the forefront of countering the gravest security threats and challenges, experienced in the OSCE region since the end of the Cold war.
Forgive my language but in case some of us have been hypnotized by “business as usual” lullaby of the Russian delegation I am obliged to wake us all up to the grim reality: Russia wages war on Ukraine, flagrantly violating all ten Helsinki Final Act principles. As a matter of fact, should our Russian colleague have stayed with us I would call on him to abandon the narrative of the “evil world against Russia conspiracy theory” and face the facts, and they are as follows.
It is the crisis in and around Russia, we are dealing with, due to its failure to respect norms and principles of international law and order.
Sixteen months ago the Russian Federation illegally occupied and annexed Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. At the second stage of its aggression it has resorted to direct military involvement in Ukraine’s Donbas.
These aggressive actions entailed a crisis, affecting the overall security in the OSCE area and fuelling escalation of security challenges, endangering the region and beyond.
The cornerstone of the OSCE security concept – the Helsinki Decalogue of principles which anchors the respect to sovereignty and inviolability of borders of the participating States – has been effectively undermined by the Russian Federation.
We highly value the international solidarity with Ukraine, including firm support of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and efforts aimed at bringing Russia back to the tenets of international law. UNGA Resolution “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”, adopted on 27 March 2014, unequivocally reconfirmed Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Regrettably, for over a year the Russian Federation has been consolidating its aggressive policy. Russian actions since February 2014 have progressively led to aggravating tensions in Ukraine and at the international stage, despite numerous commitments and public statements by the Russian Federation in support of de-escalation.
Illegally annexed Crimea has been effectively turned into a “grey zone” of militarization and human rights violations. We observe significant reinforcement of the Russian military grouping in the occupied peninsula, coupled with the Russian claims on its right to deploy the nuclear weapons in Crimea.
The rise of the transnational threats and challenges, erosion of the confidence- and security building measures (CSBMs) are also the product of the Russian aggression.
Ukraine is extremely concerned over the increased threat of terrorism, including the aspects of foreign terrorist fighters, organized crime and trafficking in human beings, stemming from the activities of the Russian military and Russia-backed illegal armed groups in Donbas.
The OSCE, with its mandate across the conflict cycle and in the confidence- and security-building area, must continue to serve as an important part of the international efforts aimed at de-escalation. Ukraine has made a full use of existing mechanisms of the OSCE politico-military toolbox, in particular those instruments, envisaged in the Vienna Document on confidence- and security-building measures. Regrettably, they do not prove effective in the absence of the political will of a participating State, which provokes grounded concerns. New reality, where direct military aggression of one participating State against another is no longer impossible, should be taken into account when discussing the ways to modernize the politico-military toolbox.
Russia’s illegal and illegitimate actions against Ukraine have placed the OSCE region on the verge of a dangerous spiral of confrontation. Effective response will depend upon our readiness to safeguard the principles and commitments, elaborated within the OSCE since 1975, and to seek their full implementation.
We hope that the discussion at the ASRC will contribute to stimulating Russia’s return to the tenets of international law and its good-faith implementation of international obligations and commitments, which stay at the core of our collective security.
Thank you for your attention.