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Comment by the MFA of Ukraine in connection with extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
19 March 2020 11:08

The MFA of Ukraine welcomes adoption of the OSCE Permanent Council decision on extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine welcomes adoption of the OSCE Permanent Council decision on extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) for the next 12-month period until 31 March 2021. We especially appreciate the consent of the OSCE participating States, even in the current complicated conditions, to considerably increase the budget of the SMM with the aim to strengthen its monitoring capacities.

Due to this decision, the SMM will be able to continue informing international community on the facts, which confirm the military presence of the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

We proceed from the necessity of ensuring implementation of the arrangements reached during the Paris Normandy Four Summit, in particular on strengthening capacities of the SMM to use all possibilities of its 21 March 2014 mandate, and have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine in order to fully implement its mandate.

We remind that the SMM mandate covers entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. We condemn the fact that for six years in a row, the Russian Federation, flagrantly violating the SMM mandate, denies access for the Mission to the Crimean peninsula, temporarily occupied by Russia. We urge to implement numerous resolutions of the international organizations to ensure access of the SMM to Crimea and to stop the campaign of intimidation directed at the SMM monitors in the temporarily occupied parts of Donbas.

We expect the SMM to continue its activities aimed at facilitating peaceful resolution of the conflict stemming from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, based on the OSCE principles and norms of international law, and restoration of respect for independence, sovereignty, political unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. We call to draw additional attention to the militarization of Crimea by Russia and the ongoing limitations of the freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait by Russia, which have negative socio-economic implications for the respective regions of Ukraine.

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