We took with surprise the statement by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the decision on deployment of the OSCE observers to two Russian checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border, which blamed Ukraine, along with some other participating States, for allegedly unconstructive stance on this decision.
In fact, from the very beginning Ukraine has backed all steps, aimed at implementing the Berlin Declaration, signed by Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Germany, France and the Russian Federation on 2 July. This applies, in particular, to the drafting of the abovementioned decision, being regarded as a comprehensive document, which would contribute to implementation of the Berlin Declaration in its entirety. Among them, in particular, is the deployment of Ukrainian border guards at the checkpoints “Donetsk” and “Gukovo” pending the return of the Ukrainian checkpoints “Izvarino” and “Chervonopartyzansk” to Ukrainian control.
Regrettably, the delegation of the Russian Federation was the only delegation to strongly object a comprehensive approach towards implementation of the Berlin Declaration. We are disappointed over the selective approach by the Russian side towards fulfilling the Berlin agreements.
The delegation of Ukraine took a constructive stance, supporting consensus on this decision. At the same time, deterioration of the situation along many sections of the Ukrainian-Russian border testifies to its rather symbolic nature. Armed provocations against Ukraine from the Russian territory are now registered not only in the vicinity of the checkpoints “Donetsk” and “Gukovo”.
Effective monitoring on the Russian-Ukrainian border, that will facilitate preventing flows of weapons and militants to Ukraine from the territory of the Russian Federation, necessitates the presence of OSCE observers along the entire borderline. Discussion at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting during the adoption of the decision indicated that most of the OSCE participating States shared this view. In this regard we hope that the Russian Federation will be ready not only for “goodwill gestures”, being so often mentioned by its representatives during the preparation of the OSCE Permanent Council decision, but for practical steps towards implementation of its commitments, undertaken within the OSCE and under bilateral agreements.