Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1230th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 30 May 2019
The delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Dr. Claus Neukirch back to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive report.
Ukraine, as guarantor and mediator in the Transdniestrian settlement process, is grateful to the OSCE Mission to Moldova for active engagement, including within the “5+2” negotiations, in advancing the settlement of the conflict. The Ministerial Council in Milan underscored “strong resolve to attain a comprehensive, peaceful and sustainable settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders with a special status for Transdniestria”. This resolve should continue to serve as a clear and powerful guidance for the Mission.
Building confidence and implementing agreements, in particular of the “package of eight” reconfirmed in the «5+2» Rome Protocol of 30 May 2018, must remain in the focused attention. At the same time, it is necessary to be constantly cognizant that confidence-building measures are not an end in itself, as they must serve the purpose of final settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict. Persistent efforts are to be directed at the political settlement issues.
The so called “inauguration” on 22 January 2019 in Moscow of a Tiraspol entity as an “official representation in the Russian Federation” was a setback, further slowing-down progress in the settlement process.
We again draw particular attention to the Russian warehouses with obsolete artillery and ammunition in Kovbasna village, considered a serious potential threat to the citizens of Ukraine and Moldova, living in the region. In this context we encourage the Mission to foster efforts of organizing an independent, OSCE-led assessment of ammunition storage in Kovbasna, drawing upon extensive expertise available within the OSCE framework.
In terms of practical measures of advancing the settlement process there is an urgent need for withdrawal of the Operational Group of Russian Forces, stationed on the territory of the Republic of Moldova without consent of this state. We reiterate the importance of implementation of earlier reached agreements and commitments, including from the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transdniestria, as well as of the UN GA resolution A/RES/72/282 of 22 June 2018 “Complete and unconditional withdrawal of foreign military forces from the territory of the Republic of Moldova”.
The Mission must have full and unhindered access to the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally recognized borders. Comprehensive reporting on the political and security situation on the ground should continue to be an area of specific focus in the Mission’s work. Ukraine expects the OSCE Mission to Moldova to continue providing regular updates on the political and security situation on the ground, in particular in the Transdniestrian region of Moldova and border areas adjacent to Odesa oblast of Ukraine.
The delegation of Ukraine again thanks Dr. Claus Neukirch for his report and wishes him and his able team every success in their future activities.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.