Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1173rd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 25 January 2018
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 deployment of OSCE observers to two Russian checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian Border, 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.
The delegation of Ukraine reiterates the importance of proper and broad OSCE monitoring on the Russian side of the Ukrainian-Russian state border in zones adjacent to the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine which is critical for sustainable de-escalation and peaceful resolution of the international armed conflict started by Russia and taking place on the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
Having signed the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, all signatories, including the Russian Federation, undertook to ensure permanent monitoring of the Ukrainian-Russian State border and its verification by the OSCE with the formation of a security zone in the border areas of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This task remains unimplemented more than three years later. Before the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg in 2016 and before the last Ministerial Council in Vienna in 2017 the Russian Federation was the one country that blocked respective draft OSCE decisions.
We regret that the Russian Federation continues to block expansion of the mandate of the OSCE observation mission in Russian border checkpoints ‘Gukovo’ and ‘Donetsk’ to all sections of the border that is temporarily not under control of the Ukrainian authorities. Such expansion enjoys support of the OSCE participating States, except Russia.
It proves Russia’s unchanged intention to hide from the international community the mounting evidence of Russia’s direct role as a party to the conflict in Ukraine’s east, including by supplying heavy weapons, military equipment, regular troops and mercenaries. We continue to urge Russia to immediately cease these internationally wrongful acts.
We call upon the Russian Federation to demonstrate commitment to implementation of the Minsk arrangements not by words, but by practical steps of compliance with the agreed measures. We urge to allow proper and comprehensive permanent monitoring by the OSCE and establishment of a security zone on the Russian side of the Ukrainian-Russian state border adjacent to the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions which presently are not controlled by the authorities of Ukraine. It is a matter of implementation by Russia of undertaken commitment.
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”.