Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1223rd special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 29 March 2019
INTERPRETATIVE STATEMENT UNDER PARAGRAPH IV.1(A)6 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE
By the delegation of Ukraine:
In connection with the PC decision on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), the delegation of Ukraine would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1 (A) 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Ukraine expresses its gratitude to the OSCE participating States for supporting the request of the Government of Ukraine to extend the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission for the next period of 12 months. Having placed the request for extension of the mandate, Ukraine has contributed with constructiveness and flexibility to achieving a timely consensus on the decision. We regret that the adoption of the decision comes at a late stage because of the position of the Russian Federation.
Since 2014, the Government of Ukraine regards the adoption of such decision to be the expression of continued readiness of the Organization to uphold the founding OSCE principles and assist the country in countering the severe and multi-faceted consequences of the ongoing aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. This aggression constitutes a flagrant breach of imperative norms of international law, the Helsinki Final Act, bilateral and multilateral agreements, which guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity, inviolability of frontiers and non-intervention in internal affairs of Ukraine.
We expect the SMM to act in strict compliance with its mandate, as stipulated by the Permanent Council Decision No. 1117 of 21 March 2014, and to maintain close contact with the authorities of the host country on the priorities of its activities.
Ukraine considers as critically important the role of the OSCE and the SMM in facilitating a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donbas and in seeking de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula with full respect for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, political unity and territorial integrity. In this context we underline the high relevance and significance of the SMM’s mandated task of establishing and reporting facts concerning violations of the OSCE principles and commitments.
Ukraine firmly supports the SMM in accomplishing its tasks relating to implementation of relevant provisions of the Minsk agreements, which include the Protocol and Memorandum of September 2014 and the Package of Measures of February 2015.
The SMM must have the necessary human resources and technical means to perform effective monitoring and verification in the conflict-affected part of Donbas, including along the segment of the state border controlled by the Russian Federation. We encourage effective use of available assets, including the long-range UAVs. We strongly urge the Russian Federation to lift all restrictions and put an end to attacks, threats and intimidation which the SMM monitors encounter systematically in the Russia-occupied parts of Donbas.
The OSCE monitors must have full and unhindered access throughout Ukraine’s territory within its internationally recognized borders, which includes the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. We encourage the SMM to use all available instruments to closely monitor and report within its mandate on the developments in Crimea, in particular regarding the militarization of the peninsula by the occupying power, restrictions to the freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the human rights situation for the local residents whose basic human rights and fundamental freedoms have been breached and limited by the Russian occupation administration. In connection with gross violation of human rights in Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine we supported the introduction in the SMM of additional post of Human rights officer to enhance respective monitoring and reporting by the SMM.
The Government of Ukraine reiterates its original interpretative statement appended to the Permanent Council Decision No. 1117 of 21 March 2014 which remains in force. Having entered the sixth year of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine we draw a particular attention to a part of the statement in question that “amid Russia’s invasion of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and growing tensions therein, Ukraine requested for the establishment of an international mission of observers, including from the OSCE, to establish facts on the ground in Ukraine, including specifically in the Crimean peninsula (PC.DEL/222/14 of 3 March 2014)”.
The delegation of Ukraine requests that this statement be attached to the decision and registered in the journal of the day.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson”.