As for delivery by the Delegation of Ukraine to the 1135th meeting of
the Permanent Council, 2
last Permanent Council meeting the security situation in conflict-affected
areas of Donbas remained tense and volatile as the hybrid Russian forces
continued to provoke hostilities. Two years after the Minsk Package of Measures
was to put an end to military assaults of Russia in Donbas, none of the
respective provisions have been fulfilled by the Russia and its proxies,
including the very first step of comprehensible and sustainable ceasefire.
past week, the Ukrainian positions and residential areas were targeted in 540
attacks, including with the use of mortars and heavy artillery. The hybrid
Russian forces continue to use MLRS BM-21 Grad, as confirmed, for instance, by
the SMM report of 27 February on the outgoing explosions from non-government
controlled Horlivka. The last 8 days attacks again significantly increased the
toll of casualties: 7 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 39 were wounded.
February, Avdiivka and the Donetsk filtration station in Yasynuvata have once
again been shelled by the Russian terrorist forces from proscribed heavy
weapons, which caused disruption of supply of electricity to Avdiivka and of
water to the whole region, including Donetsk city.
electricity supply to Avdiivka was restored by the Ukrainian repair teams as
soon as the relevant security guarantees had been provided by the Russian side
on 27 February, while the situation at the Donetsk filtration station
remains yet unresolved. We fully share the concerns expressed in this regard by
Ambassador Apakan. The Ukrainian side took exhaustive measures to extend
security guarantees for the workers of the company “Water of Donbas” to carry
out the necessary repair works. The Ukrainian side stands ready to accomplish
demining works from explosives in the area of this critical infrastructure
facility. However, these works could not be carried out in the last six days
because of the denial of security guarantees by the hybrid Russian forces. The
Russian side of the JCCC has been unable to effectively resolve this critical
issue which prevents restoration of water supply and leads to further
deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Avdiivka, Yasynuvata and
Donetsk. Yesterday the shellings in that area continued.
and the ceasefire regime were central topics during the Normandy format
Ministerial meeting on 18 February 2017 on the margins of the Munich Security
Conference. However, two days later the Russian side disrupted the planned and
agreed TCG video-conference. This video-conference was held only on
the developments on the ground do not indicate that Moscow and its proxies in
Donbas take seriously the commitments they assume. We continue to witness total
disregard of the hybrid Russian forces to fulfillment of the security
provisions of the Minsk agreements.
ago, when the critical civilian infrastructure was damaged in Avdiivka as a
result of the large-scale military assault by the hybrid Russian forces, the
SMM played a significant role in facilitating access of the repair teams to
resume supply of the utilities to the population. The freedom of movement and
access of the monitors remains of crucial importance for monitoring and
verification as well as for facilitation of repair works.
what we witness from the SMM reports are the increased restrictions and
pressure on the monitors by the hybrid Russian forces. The SMM weekly report of
22 February referred to 27 cases, when the Mission encountered restrictions of
its freedom of movement in non-government-controlled areas. Moreover, as stated
in the same report, monitoring of these areas was hindered by continued refusal
to provide security guarantees enabling the SMM to open additional forward
patrol bases and patrol hubs in the area.
A matter of
particular concern is the increased number of cases of intimidation of the SMM
monitors by fighters of the hybrid Russian forces. Those were not “isolated
cases” as the Russian side was insisting in the past weeks, but constitute a
deliberate policy of restricting the SMM freedom of movement to prevent the
monitors from fulfilling their mandate and reporting fully and objectively on
the situation on the ground. Russia has not taken any measures to reign in its
fighters and thus they continue to intimidate monitors.
report of 27 February informed about two cases targeting the SMM monitors in
the centre of non-government-controlled Pikuzy and the gun shots and seizure of
the SMM mini-UAV by fighters of the illegal armed formations in Yasynuvata. The
seizure of the UAV prevented the SMM from monitoring the consequences of the
shelling of the Donetsk water filtration station, which was targeted and
damaged by the hybrid Russian forces on 24 February. We strongly condemn these
serious incidents of intimidation and urge Russia to take the necessary
measures to put an end to them. While noting that the UAV was returned to the
SMM few days later, it is not acceptable that the vehicle was returned without
the information collected by it which is the property of the OSCE.
out with deep concern that the Ukrainian officers from the JCCC were again
targeted by the hybrid Russian forces. This time it happened near Popasna on 27
February, despite the respective car marking and identification of the
stated upon the completion of the Normandy Ministerial meeting on 18 February,
without ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons there is no possibility for
progress on the political track of the Minsk agreements.
Yet, on the
very same day the prospects for the political track of peaceful resolution were
further jeopardized by Russia and its decision on recognition of so called
“documents” and “vehicle registration plates” issued by illegal structures in
Donbas. As we all know from the reports of the OSCE missions, from at least
middle of last year the Russian authorities allowed holders of so called
“passports” and “registration plates” to cross in both directions of the
uncontrolled sections of the Ukrainian-Russian state border, but now the
Kremlin decided to formalize it.
condemned the Kremlin’s decision and does not recognise it. This decision
violates Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and fundamentally
breaches the Minsk agreements by de-facto recognising the Russia-controlled
illegal structures in the occupied Ukrainian territories of Donbas. We welcome
a clear reaction by the Austrian Chairmanship and other OSCE community,
including by Germany and France as mediators in the Normandy format, to this
yet another serious departure of Russia from its Minsk commitments and the OSCE
principles. Unfortunately, Moscow continues to pursue the course it embarked
upon in 2014, including when it endorsed the illegal so-called “elections” in
certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on 2 November 2014 in full
contradiction to the Minsk Protocol signed on 5 September 2014.
Russian military integrated the illegal armed formations in their command and
control structure, providing for uninterrupted flow of manpower, weapons and
ammunition, the fake structures established by Russia in Donbas are maintained
afloat by Russian finances.
February the Security Service of Ukraine disclosed the funding channels, through
which the Government of the Russian Federation supports its proxies in the
Luhansk region. The total budget of those areas in the first quarter of 2017
was determined at 11 billion Russian rubles of which 9 billion are channeled
from Russia via a specifically established and designated fund.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine continues to entail enormous human,
economic and financial losses and costs. This unacceptable situation, two and a
half years after signing of the first Minsk documents, can only be changed by
making Russia to fully implement the undertaken commitments, including the
withdrawal of its forces and weaponry from the Ukrainian territory. Based on
Russia’s actions until now, the prospects of de-escalation will remain elusive until
reinstatement of full control at the Ukrainian-Russian state border in the
occupied areas of Donbas. The establishment of permanent monitoring and
verification by the OSCE at the border remains a pending and critically
important measure envisaged by the Minsk agreements.
necessary to maintain and step up the political, diplomatic and economic
pressure on Russia to make it implement the undertaken commitments under the
Minsk agreements and to refrain from further violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty
and territorial integrity.
Russia to return to the tenets of international law, to fulfill its
international commitments and obligations, to reverse the illegal occupation of
the Crimean peninsula which is an integral part of the sovereign territory of
you, Mr. Chairman.