Statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on Extension of OSCE SMM’s Mandate

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine welcomes adoption of the OSCE Permanent Council consensus decision on extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine until 31 March 2022.

Ukraine is grateful to the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship and the participating States for their support for the request by the Government of Ukraine to extend the Mission’s work for the next 12 months.

It is worth noting that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission was deployed in Ukraine in March 2014 following the initiative of Ukraine in response to the Russian Federation’s military invasion of the Crimean Peninsula.

Extension of the mandate will ensure the OSCE SMM’s continuous monitoring in Ukraine aimed at unbiased and timely informing of the international community on manifestations of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The Mission will keep observing developments on the ground in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, especially in the areas adjacent to the segment of the Ukrainian-Russian state border, which is temporarily not under control by the Government of Ukraine.

The MFA of Ukraine underlines that the OSCE SMM’s mandate provides for safe and secure access of monitors throughout the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders of Ukraine, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

We consider as unacceptable actions by the Russian Federation aimed at restricting monitoring activities of the SMM in the temporarily occupied territories in the east of Ukraine and blocking the Mission’s access to the temporarily occupied Crimea. The Russian side must stop impeding the implementation of the Mission’s mandate without further delay.

We expect the OSCE SMM to strengthen its monitoring of other illegal actions by Russia: the ongoing militarisation of Crimea, restrictions on the freedom of navigation in the Azov-Black Sea region, violations of fundamental OSCE principles and commitments, particularly on respect for sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of States.

Natalia Tolub

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