Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1165th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 23 November 2017
Exercising the right of reply to the statement of the Russian delegation and its unfounded allegations directed at my country, the delegation of Ukraine wishes to make the following remarks.
Ukraine is among the countries who suffered most from the occupation by Nazi regime and its crimes during the Second World War. The remembrance of enormous human losses of the Ukrainian nation in its contribution to the victory over Nazism informs Ukraine’s consistent and strong position of condemnation of all forms of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices fueling contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Ukraine is fully committed to the implementation of the relevant OSCE commitments on promoting tolerance and non-discrimination. The Ukrainian authorities are outspoken in their firm condemnation of any kind of intolerance and discrimination, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, chauvinism, as well as neo-Nazism, neo-fascism and other totalitarian ideologies.
The legislation of Ukraine condemns the crimes committed by the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes which acted as allies in unleashing the Second World War, and outlaws dissemination of their ideas and symbols. Before the Second World War, the Soviet totalitarian regime under Stalin killed millions of Ukrainians through man-made famine – Holodomor which has been determined to be genocide of the Ukrainian people. Despite this and other despicable crimes of Stalin and his regime, today he is increasingly presented in Russia as the so-called “efficient manager”.
We would remind the Russian delegation that territorial expansionism and related justification of use of force and violation of norms of international law constitute the most dangerous forms of aggressive nationalism. This is what Russia has been doing in the past few years. Since 2014 the Russian Federation has been pursuing an armed aggression against Ukraine, has occupied by force parts of Ukraine’s territory in flagrant violation of international law, has defied its responsibilities as an occupying power by perpetrating gross human rights violations in the occupied territories and breaching the international humanitarian law, continues to violate internationally recognised state borders and fuel the conflict in Donbas, having killed and wounded tens of thousands of people.
The Russian Federation lends political and financial support to ultra-right parties in Europe and modern-day Nazi sympathisers and radicals who question the established rules-based order and the values of democracy and human rights. In March 2015 in St.Petersburg the Russian organisers hosted the biggest ever world congress of members of ultra-right parties and Nazi apologists. Alongside with the clamp-down on human rights and freedoms, the Russian state machinery and propaganda purposefully spread the virus of hatred raising intolerance and aggression in the Russian society to unprecedented levels. Among numerous examples, the most recent one came to attention this week as a 10th grade school student from a Russian remote town of Novyi Urengoi became a target of hateful bating on a federal and regional levels after expressing his candid view on the Second World War about all soldiers being the victims of that war and that everything must be done to prevent wars from happening.
In this light it is absolutely clear that the draft UNGA resolution, mentioned in the statement of the Russian delegation, is a product of Russia’s attempts to manipulate with public memory and conscience. We cannot accept this cynical manipulation on a subject of such high moral significance and historic responsibility.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.