Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1195th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 27 September 2018
For the third consecutive year the Russian delegation puts on the agenda the issue of anniversary of Munich pact, calling it a current issue. We concur with the view of other delegations that Russia attempts to distract attention from really urgent issues with the Russian aggression against Ukraine being at the top of them. In its traditional selectivity the Russian delegation is not eager, at the same time, to discuss the anniversary of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, whereby two totalitarian regimes – Nazi and Soviet – agreed to divide Europe and began as allies what later became the bloodiest war in the human history – the Second World War.
As the Russian statement mentioned Ukraine, I wish to underscore that my country strongly condemns the crimes committed by the neonazist and communist totalitarian regimes. Ukraine adopted the legislation making it a criminal offence to propagate their ideologies and manifestations.
The Russian Ambassador referred to the relevance of the lessons to be drawn from that pact. Indeed, the principal lesson from Munich Pact is that accommodation or appeasement of an aggressor breed further aggression. The values and principles must not be compromised for an illusion of peace that quickly transforms into more aggression.
Projecting this lesson to present reality, we draw attention that in 2014 the Russian Federation sent its troops and agents to illegally occupy parts of Ukraine – the Crimean peninsula and Donbas region, attempted to change state borders by force and since then continues to maintain hostilities in Donbas by its regular troops, mercenaries, proxy forces and military equipment. By its aggression against Ukraine Russia flagrantly violated and continues to show contempt to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, to bilateral and multilateral treaties and assurances.
The Russian aggression made abundantly clear that the pillars of the European security order – national borders, international norms and principles, multilateral institutions – cannot be stretched to satisfy the appetite of aggressive intentions, otherwise the established security order will be irreparably destroyed.
In this light it is critically important to firmly hold the aggressor to account and employ all necessary instruments to make it return to the tenets of international law and the core principles of the European security order.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.