Delivered by Ms. Yevheniia Filipenko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1176th meeting of the Permanent Council, 15 February 2018
The delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes the Chief Observer of the OSCE Observer Mission at two Russian checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border to the Permanent Council and thanks him for presenting a comprehensive report. As this is the first appearance of Ambassador Gyorgy Varga in the Permanent Council in his current position, we congratulate him on the appointment and encourage to maintain high standards of professional work, established by his predecessors, to provide for full implementation of the OM mandate under difficult conditions.
We condemn in the strongest terms the continued illegal practice of sending by Russia of the so-called “humanitarian convoys” without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and of the principles of international humanitarian law. It is notable that during the reporting period 3 Russian convoys violated Ukraine`s border at the Donetsk BCP, but since 22 August 2014 the OM observed 71 such convoys. Although the limited Ukrainian Border Guards unit continues to be present at the Donetsk BCP, during the convoy crossings it is permanently escorted by armed men in camouflage and is prevented from performing inspections and verifications of the convoys which are only observed from a distance. We urge Russia to start observing the reached agreements on safe delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid based on an international mechanism. Until this mechanism is enacted we again urge Russia to send deliveries of humanitarian nature through border check-points, controlled by the Government 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.
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