On 30 January during his visit to Ukraine, the first one in the capacity of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic Angelino Alfano held talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin.
Ukrainian side focused on its expectations of the Italy’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2018 in the context of the settlement of Ukrainian-Russian conflict in Donbas, as well as more active engagement of the OSCE and its autonomous institutions with the issues of the temporarily occupied Crimea, in particular with reference to human rights.
In this regard Pavlo Klimkin welcomed the assurances of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the priority of these issues on the agenda of the Italian Presidency.
The parties also agreed on the need to increase the effectiveness of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and to improve its technical capacities under aggravation of security and humanitarian situation in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions occupied by Russia. According to Pavlo Klimkin, the Russian practice of restricting the activities of the OSCE SMM in the occupied territories is unacceptable. The observers of the Mission should have free and unhampered access throughout Ukraine, including the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas.
It was also noted at the meeting that the UN peacekeeping mission could significantly increase the effectiveness of international efforts aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
During a joint press conference, Angelino Alfano confirmed that Italy is strictly sticking to the EU's consolidated position regarding condemnation of the occupation of Crimea and non-recognizing the attempt of its annexation, which was highly commended by the Ukrainian side.