Delivered by Ihor Lossovskyi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, on 6 June 2018
The delegation of Ukraine welcomes this meeting and wishes the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship and the Chairperson of the Informal Working Group (IWG) on the Structured Dialogue, Ambassador Paul Huynen, every success in advancing the joint efforts in the framework of the Structured Dialogue. We also greatly appreciate the skilful way in which our collective work in the Structured Dialogue has been managed this year.
Not only is the Ukrainian delegation fully committed to the Structured Dialogue but this position is also strongly held in our capital. Furthermore, we have ensured high-level participation from our capital in nearly all the meetings.
The Ukrainian position on discussions in the Structured Dialogue has been made clear. In particular, as we confront the deepest present crisis in the European security order, which has resulted from flagrant violation by Russia of international law and of fundamental OSCE norms and principles, we proceed on the basis of today’s realities. The situation needs to be examined in greater depth, with due consideration being given to the root causes of the crisis and to the matter of full adherence to existing OSCE principles. Given the complexity of the situation, it would be unproductive to prejudge the precise timelines and preliminary results of the discussions or to artificially expedite the process. It is essential to preserve the participating States’ ownership of the Structured Dialogue and to have the time required to explore the various facets of the security‑related challenges in depth.
The principles and ideas presented during the March 2018 meeting of the IWG on the Structured Dialogue are relevant and may be applied to our further work. We are grateful for the Chairmanship’s constructive and well‑balanced approach in this regard. Taking stock of developments during this year, we would agree that some progress has been achieved, not least in defining areas for further attention.
The discussion at the fifth meeting of the IWG revealed an urgent need for further work on mechanisms for risk reduction, de‑escalation and incident prevention and management, in particular through the full implementation and modernization of the Vienna Document. We fully agree with the prevailing assessment that the current security situation and ongoing violations of the OSCE principles and commitment make it especially important to have these mechanisms in place. We see added value in such discussions and look forward to their continuation.
The second expert-level “mapping exercise” workshop proved that the scope of information exchange in the current CSBMs is not sufficient for assessing threat perceptions among participating States. We welcome the ideas raised at the meeting, in particular that more data‑package information should be sought, in order to move closer to a complete picture for the analysis of threat perceptions and the identification of trends and in order to complete the data for all 57 participating States. It is therefore important to consider the so-called “grey zones”. In this connection, we would like to remind delegations of the fact of the illegal presence of two army corps commanded and controlled by Russia, with a total strength of over 35,000 troops on the occupied territory of Ukraine’s Donbas without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities. There are also more than two thousand servicemen of the armed forces of the Russian Federation serving as military advisers, instructors and in separate combat support and logistics units. Without due consideration of this information, the “mapping exercise” is destined to lag far behind the reality on the ground. We stand ready to provide further information on this Russian military force. In our view, assessments of contemporary military power should also take account of instruments of hybrid and cyber warfare.
As regards other aspects of the Structured Dialogue, we likewise consider it particularly important to pursue examination of the situation while bearing in mind the root causes of the current crisis and the question of full adherence to existing OSCE principles and commitments. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, its illegal occupation and attempted annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and its military intervention in the Donbas region of Ukraine are continuing and still represent an existential threat to my country and to the rules‑based European security order.
The OSCE’s Istanbul Document of 1999 contains a clear commitment to exploring ways to increase the Organization’s effectiveness in dealing with cases of clear, gross and continuing violations of OSCE principles and commitments. This task is most relevant today and we consider it highly appropriate to deal with it within the Structured Dialogue.
In addition to the CSBMs, which play a crucial role in providing transparency and predictability and thus enhance confidence and security among the participating States, the instruments for responding to and dealing with violations of core OSCE principles and commitments should be further developed.
We consider that the Structured Dialogue could serve as an appropriate platform for working out possible ways to revitalize and modernize the existing OSCE instruments, or even for aiming to develop new ones that could be swiftly and effectively employed for the prevention and resolution of inter-State conflicts. The mechanisms will have to be more intrusive to ensure full verification in the case of an emerging crisis.
We are confident that such important discussions fall under the mandate of the Structured Dialogue. They are definitely in the interest of all participating States that seek a stable and rules‑based comprehensive European security order and they have the potential to counter the plans of that order’s opponents.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.