Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1161st meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 19 October 2017
We join previous speakers in warmly welcoming Ms. Christine Muttonen, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, back to the Permanent Council and thank her for presentation and the views on addressing the pressing security challenges in the OSCE region.
Ukraine recognizes the importance of parliamentary diplomacy to uphold principles and commitments, enshrined, in particular, in the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, and to promote the values of peace and democracy. Members of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine actively participate in the Assembly’s meetings and initiated or co-sponsored a number of Resolutions. We are pleased to note that the Head of the Ukrainian delegation Mr.Artur Gerasymov was re-elected this year as Vice-Chair of the OSCE PA General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment.
Since 2014 the OSCE community has encountered the worst security crisis after the end of the Cold War. Ukraine became a victim of external aggression and the aggressor attempted to annex part of Ukraine’s territory – the first such instance in the European history since the end of the Second World War. We note with high appreciation the unity and firmness of the OSCE participating States, both on the inter-governmental and the parliamentary sides, in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, condemning and rejecting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and urging Russia to restore respect to the core OSCE principles, including by withdrawing its troops from the Ukrainian territory and reversing the illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopted respective Resolutions in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
This year’s OSCE PA Resolution “Restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, adopted at the annual session held in Minsk (Belarus), underscored the validity of provisions of previous Assembly’s Resolutions that were ignored by Russia and clearly articulated the Assembly’s condemnation of ongoing violations committed by the Russian Federation in Donbas and Crimea.
Given the gravity of the violations and taking into account the response of the OSCE PA, formulated in its Resolutions and Declarations, we encourage the Assembly and its respective General Committees to put high on the agenda the issue of prompt and full implementation of the provisions of the adopted OSCE PA Resolutions. Russia’s breach of its international obligations and commitments and disrespect for the position of the OSCE democratic community remains the biggest threat to security in Europe and continues to fuel the conflict started by Russia.
We support the enhanced efforts of the Parliamentary Assembly in countering terrorism as a significant threat to the OSCE participating States. This threat constantly evolves taking up new forms and manifestations. An aspect of particular concern and tragic repercussions for my country is state-sponsored terrorism. Early this year Ukraine submitted a case to the UN Court of Justice on violation by the Russian Federation of the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. In April the Court confirmed the existence of the dispute and will continue to consider the case on its merits.
We regret that a number of efforts of the Parliamentary Assembly to contribute to stopping the illicit transfer of arms from Russia to illegal armed formations on the Ukrainian territory did not bear fruit as the Russian delegation persistently ignored the presented evidence, although promising to carefully look into it.
We hope that the newly-established Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism will study the numerous evidence of direct and indirect support of the Russian Federation to the illegal armed groups and terrorist activities on the Ukrainian territory and will make its tangible contribution to put an end to it.
In conclusion, I wish to thank once again Madam President for addressing the Permanent Council and express full support for the activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and its further efforts in upholding the OSCE principles and values as the basis for lasting security and co-operation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.