On January 24, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze met with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland).
During the talks, the sides discussed the priorities of Slovakia's OSCE Chairmanship and issues related to bilateral cooperation.
The Vice Prime Minister congratulated Slovakia on the OSCE Chairmanship from January 1 this year and expressed confidence that it will be successful and will be included in the history of the organization.
"Ukraine hails the priorities of the Slovakia’s OSCE Chairmanship, because they are based both on the international and your own experience (Miroslav Lajčák served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly before ). The Slovak side has set ambitious but at the same time real and achievable goals ", the Vice Prime Minister noted.
She thanked Foreign Minister of Slovakia for concrete steps planned by Slovakia during the OSCE Chairmanship to improve the situation in regions affected by Russian aggression. "The armed aggression of Russia has destroyed the foundations of international law both in the region and in the world. To restore territorial integrity, Ukraine needs clear and coordinated support of the international community, " Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed.
Ukraine is interested in cooperating within the OSCE in such areas as stopping the illicit supply of arms, personnel and ammunition by Russia to occupation administrations in Donbas; ensuring full and unhindered access of the OSCE mission to all territories occupied by Russia; release of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Crimea, in occupied Donbas and in the territory of the Russian Federation; monitoring, reporting and correction of the human rights situation in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea.
The issue of de-occupation of Donbas requires not only political and military aspects, but also the humanitarian component. In this context, the Vice Prime Minister noted that the OSCE should concentrate, among other things, on the assistance for population, which suffered as a result of the aggression of the Russian Federation.
"Nowadays, regions of Ukraine that are located close to the conflict zone need help more than ever. We would be grateful if the Slovak side within the framework of the OSCE or separately supported humanitarian projects in the east of Ukraine ", the Vice Prime Minister emphasized.
During the meeting, the Vice Prime Minister placed a special emphasis on the fact it is unacceptable to stick only to implementing the Minsk agreements with regard to the east of Ukraine, one must remember also about the Crimea, which is annexed by the Kremlin.
"De-occupation of Crimea is equally important for the restoration of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders which means resolving the conflict in accordance with the norms and principles of the OSCE. We urge Slovakia during the presidency to be persistent in supporting this position and to pay more attention to the return of the annexed peninsula to Ukraine," the Vice Prime Minister claimed.
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia assured that ongoing conflict in the territory of Ukraine is one of the priority issues for the OSCE and noted that, unfortunately, the potential of the Monitoring Mission is not fully realized, since it does not have full access to the occupied territories. According to him, the mission is currently focused on humanitarian projects - assistance to the population of the east of Ukraine under several practical directions.
Miroslav Lajčák praised Ukraine’s progress on the path to European and Euro-Atlantic integration, stressing that Slovakia consistently supports Ukraine's aspirations towards membership in the European Union and NATO, to require which is impossible without implementing far-reaching reforms. "Ukraine is not a problem for the European Union, but a partner. We need to take the next steps together," he said.