Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1179th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 15 March 2018
Ukraine strongly condemns the intention of the Russian Federation to illegally hold presidential elections on 18 March 2018 on the territory of the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which constitute an integral part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
These actions violate Ukraine’s legislation and the fundamental norms and principles of international law, including the United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, the UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”, UN General Assembly resolutions 71/205 and 72/190, 1994 Budapest Memorandum as well as numerous international agreements, to which Russia is a party.
Russia again attempts to legitimize the outcomes of its aggression against Ukraine. It is therefore critical for the international community to respond by strengthening sanctions, imposed on the aggressor state.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has notified to the Russian Side its protest against the elections of the President of the Russian Federation on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Ukraine has also cautioned Moscow against attempts to organize Russian elections on the territory of the occupied Donbas. Organization of voting in the Russian presidential election in the diplomatic representations of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine would be accepted by the Government of Ukraine in case of the full respect by the Russian Federation of Ukraine’s legitimate claims.
The persons who are involved in the preparation and conduct of illegal elections on the sovereign territory of Ukraine will be liable to criminal prosecution in accordance with the national legislation of Ukraine.
Ukraine calls upon the OSCE participating States to be strictly guided by UN General Assembly resolutions 68/262, 71/205 and 72/190 and not to recognize the legitimacy or outcome of the elections of the President of the Russian Federation in the illegally occupied Crimean peninsula.
It is necessary to also take into account that 1.5 mln of Crimean voters will have a considerable impact on the final results of the presidential elections in Russia.
We are aware of the fact the Russian Federation is taking measures to invite and pay for the visits of politicians from OSCE participating States to Crimea to observe the fake ”elections”. In this regard, we remind that visits to Ukraine’s territory of the Crimean peninsula, which is currently illegally occupied by Russia, can only take place with the consent of the Ukrainian authorities. Violation of the rules of entry and exit from the peninsula entail legal consequences in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation.
We once again urge the Russian Federation to return to the tenets of international law and reverse its illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol which are part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory within internationally recognized borders.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.