Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
As you might be aware, on September 5, 2014 the Trilateral Contact Group of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and OSCE as well as representatives of Russia-backed militants from Donetsk and Luhansk signed a Protocol on joint steps aimed at implementation of the Peace Plan of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko
The Protocol takes into account the key priorities of Ukraine on the way toresolve the crisis inthe regionsof Donetskand Lugansk. Among its important politicalaspects are the following:
Ø The arrangements werereachedonthe basis of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine;
Ø Russia is a direct party to the Protocol and it means that Moscow fully shares responsibility for proper implementation of the Protocol.
Ø The Protocol doesnot mention the DPR and LPR, althoughrepresentatives of thoseorganizationsparticipatedin trilateral consultationsandsigned the Protocolas private individuals.Therefore,the signing of this protocol does not mean legitimizing those terrorist organizations.
The primary purpose of the arrangements was an immediate cessation of the bloodshed and creation of necessary preconditions for the peaceful settlement. On the same when the Protocol was signed, at 6 pm, the President of Ukraine ordered Ukrainian military to cease fire as was foreseen by the Protocol. Since then, Ukraine has been strictly observing the Minsk agreements.
Among the keyelements of theProtocol I would like to mention the following:
Ø Ensuring OSCE monitoring and verification of the regime of non-use of weapons;
Ø Ensuring continuous monitoring and verification of the Ukrainian-Russian border by the OSCE togetherwith the creation ofa security zoneinthe areas adjacent to the border between Ukraineand Russia.
We are grateful to the OSCE special monitoring mission for itsreadiness to conduct such monitoring. We look forward to establishingeffective control over the border betweenUkraineand Russiaon bothsides in order to stop the flows of arms, heavy weaponry, and infiltration of troops.The modalities of the controlare to be elaborated by relevant law enforcement agenciesof Ukraine and Russia, as well as the OSCE.
It was of paramount importance that we have reached the arrangements on the withdrawal of illegal armed groups, weaponry, and fighters and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine.
It is essential that we have kept the issue of decentralization of poweron the agenda, includingthrough the commitment to adopt alaw of Ukraine"On temporary status of local governance incertain areasof Donetskand Lugansk regions". Discussions on the specific status are still ongoing. However, I would like tostress thatthisis not about recognition ofthe self-proclaimedillegalstructures such as so-calledDonetsk and LuganskPeople's Republic nor it demonstrates a move towardsfederalization.
The decentralization of power, in the context of the Protocol, means special status for certain regionsof Donetskand Lugansk regionsin terms ofeconomic,linguistic andculturalfreedoms as well as establishment of preconditionsforfurtherlocaland parliamentaryelections which are an integral part of the plan to stabilizethe region. The decentralizationof power is alsoa key part ofthe Government'splan “Restoration ofUkraine” which was introduced by the Government of Ukraine on September 3, before the Minsk Protocol was signed.
Ensuring earlylocalelections in accordance withthe law on temporary status of local governance incertain areasof Donetsk and Luganskregions as well as continuation of the inclusive nationaldialogue are among the provisions of the Protocol. The Protocolalso includes the requirement to immediately startexchange ofhostages as well as to remove all barriers for humanitarian assistance access tothe affected areasunder control of illegal militants.
Achievement of the priorities mentioned above will pave the wayfor the implementation ofother measuresto ensure lastingpeace andrestorationof Donbass.
Currently, a road mapthat would containpracticalimplementationsteps of all the provisions of the protocol is being developed.
Ukraine is strongly adhered tothe arrangements reached under the protocol andmakesallpossible efforts torestore peace, stability and order in Donbass.
However,there are doubts aboutthe sincerity ofthe intentionsof Russia and pro-Moscow illegal fighters to stay the coursefor a peacefulsettlement. At the very first 24 hours after the ceasefire was announced, a number of isolated cases of violations by the pro-Russian armed groups had been reported.
In violation of the Article 1 of the Protocol, Russian forces and terrorists have broken ceasefire and shelled Ukrainian military and civilians about 100 times since the truce started. As a result, 5 military were killed and dozens were wounded. Casualties among civilians are still being verified. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed ceasefire violations by the terrorists in its reports of September 6 and 7.
Contrary to Article 3, which urges to ensure decentralization in Ukraine, terrorists intensified their efforts to promote statehood of the self-proclaimed entities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Immediately after the Trilateral Contact Group’s meeting in Minsk they declared that they intended to claim independence and separate from Ukraine. Moreover, they continued endeavors to develop state institutes, in particular, border guard units.
Despite Article 4 rules to make steps towards securing the border between Ukraine and Russia, Russia continues to supply manpower and military equipment to the terrorists through a number of border crossings that are currently out of control of the Ukrainian forces.
Although Article 8 sets to take measures to improve humanitarian conditions in Donbas, terrorists still hinder delivery of humanitarian aid to affected areas and residents. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reported that an ICRC humanitarian convoy consisting of 10 trucks could not bring aid to Luhansk on September 6 as the bridge at the city’s outskirts was mined by terrorists.
Contrary to Article 10, which requests to retreat unlawful armed groups, military equipment as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine, Russian regular troops and terrorists use a ceasefire respite to get reinforcements, reshuffle, take more advantageous positions and fortify them.
Also, they concentrate personnel and military equipment with an eye to take control of the towns of Mariupol and Debaltseve in the Donetsk region. On September 7-8, large groups of militants and military equipment were redeployed from north to south of the Luhansk region. On September 8, residents of the village of Nikishyne in the Donetsk region were given 72 hours to leave the place as Russians and their local cronies were preparing a jumping-off ground for an offensive on Debaltseve. On the same day, groups of over 160 units of military equipment were seen on the move at the outskirts of the town of Novoazovsk. Other similar activities were also observed.
Moreover, Russians reshuffle their forces in the north of the Crimea. It is reported that there are about 60 tanks, over a hundred of armored personnel carriers, tens of Grad and Uragan multiple rocket launchers etc. At the same time, they continue to pile up forces along the border with Ukraine.
According to the Ukrainian State Boarder Service, as of September 11 during the last day 32 tanks and 48 armored personnel carriers, BRDM 1, 20 "Ural" with ammunition and 8 - with the personnel moved on the territory of Ukraine from Russia.
"On September 10h through the checkpoint" Izvarino "in the direction of the city Krasnodon proceeded 12 tanks, 48 armored personnel carriers, BRDM 1, 20 cars" Ural " with ammunition and 8 cars" Ural "with personnel, 4 air defense vehicle, 5 tankers" - said in the message.
In addition, on September 10 from the crossing point "Novoazovsk" in the direction of the village of Bezimyznnoe (Donetsk region) has proceeded about 10 tanks.
Also in the western part of the village appeared 2 MLRS BM-21 "Grad".
In the village of Beloyarovka (Donetsk region) also find an abundance of up to 400 units of vehicles.
According to the State Border Service of about 19:00 from Beloyarovki through Amvrosievka moved a column of vehicles of 76 units under the flags of Russia.
At night, September 10 from Russia via Dubrovka (Donetsk region) in the direction of Dmitrovka (Donetsk region) moved 10 tanks and 3 self-propelled artillery.
As reported in Telmanovo PTH (Donetsk region) Russian military conduct training of about 1000 fighters.
Along with the facts that show obvious reluctance of Russia and its puppets to enter the realm of international law and find a modality of peaceful coexistence with Ukraine, we have some positive achievements.
Ukraine remains committed to implementation of the Minsk arrangements, which give us momentum to establish sustainable bilateral cease-fire and further implement of the Peace-Plan of the President Poroshenko. We urge all parties concerned to fulfill their commitments in good faith.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It’s been six monthsfrom the time ofoccupation and attempted annexationby Russiaof the AutonomousRepublic of Crimea.
During thesesix monthsmarionetteoccupation authoritieshasnotonlydestroyedthe economy ofthe Crimea, itstourist potential,but actuallyeliminated the systemof democratic institutions, human rights and national minorities, freedom of speech, assemblyand religion which was built for the yearsof Ukraine's independenceThis thesisis repeatedly confirmed byregularreports of the UN Monitoring Missionfor HumanRights in Ukraine.
The invadersturned theregionto a reserve ofterror,harassment and intimidationexperienced byallthose whodisagreewith the policies ofthe Kremlinandself-proclaimed Crimean authorities. One of the recent blatant examples wasabsolutely arbitrary and illegal arrest of ElizabethBogutska, a local activist. We urgethe international community tocondemn such actionsand other human rights violations inRussia andin the occupiedCrimea,take allpossible measures toreleasecitizens of Ukraineillegally detained by Russian authorities, including OlegSentsov, Nadiya Savchenkoand manyothers.
In the meantime, Russia continues todeepenlawlessness byscheduling for September 14so-called"elections to State Council" – an illegitimate body which has never been recognized internationally. It is clear that the "elections"will benothing but afarce, and its results will be null and void.
On September 4, 2014 MFA of Ukraine received a note verbale of the Russian Embassy in Kiev where Moscow informs us that, starting from March 18 this year, all nuclear objects of Ukraine in Crimea are under the jurisdiction of the Treaty between USSR and IAEA of 1985. Russia also informed Ukraine that ostensibly starting from 7 July 2014 all Ukrainian nuclear objects were included in the list of Russian so-called "peaceful nuclear installations" and IAEA will be informed on this matter at the nearest time.
The mentioned note verbale of the RF is the very first document we have received, where this country officially presented to us reclamation to exercise control over Ukrainian nuclear objects and materials located in Crimea (which is Ukrainian property) and misappropriate them definitely.
In such brutal way Russia continues illegal actions aimed at legitimizing its military aggression against Ukraine. Russia tries to use the platform of different international organizations, including the UN system, to make an illusion that "nothing particular has happened" and if it has, all States will have to accept it sooner or later.
I wish to emphasizethatthe return ofthe Crimeais and will be an absolute priority forboth domesticand foreign policy ofUkraine. Those who expect that the aggressionin Donbas forces us to forget aboutCrimea are deeplymistaken.
We will useall possibleinternational legalmechanismsto make the aggressor to pay high price for these actions as well as to return Crimea under control of Ukraine.
In thiscontext I would liketo remind you somebasicthings:
Crimea and Sevastopol have been and will remainan integralpart of the sovereignterritory of Ukraine,subject to theConstitution and laws ofUkraine. This position has been repeatedly supported by the UN General Assembly, UNHRC, Council of Europe, PACE, the OSCE,NATOand the EU.
On April 27this year, the Law of Ukraine"Onprotection of rightsand freedomsin the temporarilyoccupied territory ofUkraine" entered into force. It defined thestatus of thetemporarilyoccupied territory, establishing a special legal regime there.
In accordance with Section 3 of Article 9 ofthe Law, any bodies, their officials and officersin the temporarily occupied territoryand their activities are considered illegal unless these bodies or entities are set up, elected or appointed in the manner provided by the Law. Any act (decision, document)issued by illegal entity is void and does not establish any legal consequences.
Thank youfor your attention!
NowI am readyto answer your questions