Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1173rd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 25 January 2018
The delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Mr. George Tsereteli to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive address. We congratulate Mr. G.Tsereteli on assumption of the President’s duties and wish him every success in his activities.
We very much welcome this opportunity to exchange views on enhancing co-operation between the inter-governmental and inter-parliamentary parts of the OSCE which both aim at promoting peace, security, common values and co-operation, underpinned by respect for the OSCE principles and commitments, starting from the Helsinki Final Act.
The members of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine actively participate in the Assembly’s meetings and make substantive contributions by putting forward draft resolutions addressing the most pressing challenges to security in the OSCE space.
We appreciate, Mr. President, your visit to Ukraine last week. The high-level meetings with the parliamentary and executive authorities of the country have reaffirmed Ukraine’s respect for the OSCE PA and the essential role of parliamentary diplomacy on matters of security, democratic institutions, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
As consistently emphasized in this hall over the past nearly four years, the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine has placed under attack the very foundation of the OSCE. This multi-faceted aggression continues and Russia remains in clear, gross and uncorrected violation of the norms and principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter. Moreover, hostile actions sponsored by the Russian government target other democratic societies in the OSCE space to question their sovereignty and territorial integrity, to undermine democratic processes and procedures, to sow mistrust and uncertainty through conduct of elaborate misinformation campaigns. As a result the security landscape in Europe has sustained profound changes and has elevated to top priority the core OSCE business of conflict prevention and resolution and ensuring full respect for the fundamental OSCE principles and commitments, enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter. This is the area where all our efforts should be united.
It is imperative for European security to show resolve in taking Russia to account for its flagrant breach of its international obligations and commitments. In this connection we acknowledge the firm position of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the respective documents adopted in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 – that is at each of the Annual sessions since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. In particular, the parliamentarians called upon the Russian Federation to fully comply with its obligations under the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and other norms and principles of international law; to stop aggression against Ukraine; to reverse the attempted annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol; to halt its destabilization campaign and fueling of the conflict in Donbas and fully implement the undertaken Minsk commitments; to withdraw its troops, mercenaries and weaponry from the Ukrainian territory; to put an end to gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, illegally occupied by Russia.
These and many other calls aimed at restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders as well as making Russia return to the tenets of international law have been entirely ignored by the Russian authorities. As Russia attempts to shift international attention from its wrongdoings, we expect the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to be consistent in taking Russia to account and seeking full implementation of its Resolutions.
The conflict started by Russia remains in its “hot” phase increasing the toll of casualties and the scale of destruction, the civilian population in Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine is subjected to glaring human rights violations while the occupying authorities deny access of international organization for permanent human rights monitoring, dozens of Ukrainian citizens have been illegally detained by the Russian authorities on fabricated charges and made political prisoners. These and other pressing problems require to be urgently addressed by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and its General Committees in a purposeful and effective manner, including at the upcoming Winter meeting in Vienna.
In conclusion, I wish to thank you, Mr. President, once again for addressing the Permanent Council and express full support for the activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and its efforts of upholding respect for the Helsinki Final Act principles as the foundation for peace and security in Europe.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.