Delivered by Ambassador Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1291st meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 26 November 2020
We warmly welcome President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly George Tsereteli back to the Permanent Council and thank him for the thought-provoking address providing us with the overview of the OSCE PA activities within the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We take this opportunity to reiterate how much we appreciate the well-established fruitful cooperation between the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, including the active participation of the members of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation in the Assembly’s important endeavors.
We find it very disturbing that in some participating States the COVID-19 issues were blatantly misused for political purposes or to introduce restrictions to the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in order to strengthen the authoritarian regimes.
The OSCE PA should add its strong voice in promoting measures that would allow the OSCE to strengthening the implementation of the principles and commitments in face of the COVID-19 challenges, including through enhancing the respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and democratic institutions.
We wish to stress that the crisis in the European security triggered by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and its consequences must remain in the focus of the OSCE PA.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, in its numerous declarations and resolutions, adopted annually since 2014, on the violations of the Helsinki Principles by the Russian Federation, the abducted and illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation, the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as increasing militarization of the occupied Crimea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea repeatedly condemned these violations and called upon the Russian Federation to stop aggression against Ukraine.
Let us not forget that these documents, which Russia continues to blatantly disregard, underline the need to keep unity, firmness and persistence in responding to Russia’s aggression and ensuring that the fundamental principles of this Organization are not compromised.
We call on the Assembly to continue to be persistent in its efforts and to put high on its agenda in 2021 the issue of prompt and full implementation of the Assembly’s resolutions to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict with full respect to the norms of international law, which provide for the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
Let me conclude by reiterating Ukraine’s support to the activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and its efforts to enhance the implementation of the OSCE principles and commitments.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.