Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, delievered a statement on “Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and illegal occupation of Crimea” to the 1172nd meeting of the Permanent Council, 18 January 2018.
“At this first regular Permanent Council meeting of 2018, the Ukrainian Delegation wishes to emphasize the undiminished grave security challenges stemming from Russia’s ongoing aggression against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. The conflict, started by Russia through military invasion and occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and launching a hybrid warfare in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, will soon enter its fifth year. Over all this time, the violence has never effectively stopped,” the Ambassador emphasized.
A number of international laws and assumed obligations are still not observed. Among those are number one provision of the Minsk agreements on immediate, comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire, a recommitment to ceasefire “reached at the TCG meeting and effective from midnight of 23 December 2017 is not respected by the Russia-led forces in Donbas with a tendency to escalation in the number of ceasefire violations”. “In the last 24 hours 3 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and five were wounded. The SMM Deputy Chief Monitor pointed out in his briefing last Friday to the average number of violations at five hundred per day since 28 December 2017,” Ihor Prokopchuk told. “In the last decade the Russian Federation has established its track-record of flagrant disregard for its international obligations and commitments and for the rules-based security order underpinned by the norms and principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter,” he added.
“In the interests of European security it remains critically important to maintain and step up politico-diplomatic pressure on Russia to make it return to the tenets of international law and implement the undertaken commitments. We again urge Russia to reverse the illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol, and to stop its aggression against Ukraine, including by withdrawing its troops from the Ukrainian territory and fully implementing its commitments under the Minsk agreements,” the Permanent Representative of Ukraine said to wound up his statement.