Assistant Secretary General,
Thank you very much for your time and for agreeing to have this meeting on such a short notice. Also, I would like to thank you for your attention to the current events in Ukraine.
Particularly, I would like to thank you for expressing your positions during the OSCE briefing last week, convened under Swiss OSCE presidency.
From the very beginning of the political crisis in Ukraine, the United Nations closely monitored the situation in Ukraine and undertook a number of preventive diplomacy steps.
Secretary General called upon former leadership of the country and opposition leaders for the peaceful settlement of the crisis.
It was also helpful to have European Ministers and Russian representative involved in mediation efforts in Ukraine.
Two days ago the Parliament of Ukraine, by the constitutional majority vote, appointed a new Government, which has already presented a new Program of stabilization of situation in Ukraine in all spheres.
Basic principles of this program are: democratic society, rule of law, human rights, where every ethnic group is guaranteed its rights and freedoms.
The crisis has opened old wounds, unsettled problems, including corruption, poverty etc.
With the new Government we’ve got a perspective to calm the situation down, and realize badly needed reforms.
All regions of Ukraine have recognized the legitimacy of the Parliament of Ukraine and its decisions, including appointment of the new Government of Ukraine.
Unfortunately the situation is not as quiet as we wish it were.
On 27 February 2014 an armed terrorist group acting under the flags of the Russian Federation seized buildings of the the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Today, 28 February 2014 unidentified armed militants blocked two airports: Simferopol and Belbek (nearSevastopol).
These days we observe the large-scale military exercises conducted by the Russian Federation and military redeployment in the regions bordering on Ukraine.
Lately, there also have been numerous movements of military equipment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet across Ukraine's territory.
Today at 15.45 Kiev time 10 Russian military transport aircraft IL-76 illegally crossed the state border of Ukraine and landed at the airport near Simferopol. Also 14 Russian helicopters illegally entered territory of Ukraine and landed near Kacha.
We also were officially informed that 10 Russian armored personnel carriers (APC) moved towards Simferopol.
Ukrainian Coast Guard unit at Sevastopol was blocked by a group of armed people under the command of Russian Navy Captain Oleksandr Tolmachov, who tried to explain his actions by recent decisions of Crimea authorities.
Ukrainian government is also extremely concerned and expresses its strong indignation regarding the resent post on the Facebook page of the Russian Foreign Ministry, where I quote “Instructions have been sent to the Russian Consulate General in Simferopol to urgently undertake all necessary measures in order to start the issue of Russian passports to the members of BERKUT police unit”.
We consider all mentioned steps by Russian Federation as strongly unfriendly attempt to destabilize even more current tense situation in Crimea.
MFA of Ukraine stated its strong protest to Russian Side.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine handed over a Note Verbal with the request to hold immediate bilateral consultations under Article 7 of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation of 1997. Today this proposal was officially rejected by Russian Side.
Today, on February 28, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expressed its concern with the recent events in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in particular with the information on a possible outside intervention.
Inter alia, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stressed that all civil rights of the citizens of Ukraine of the Russian nationality, guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and international commitments and obligations of Ukraine, including language rights, are and will be fully and strictly observed in Ukraine.
You might know, Excellencies, that according to the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed in 1994 between Ukraineand guarantor States, including Russia itself, my country has abandoned its nuclear arsenal to Russia, while Russia and other have, inter alia, obliged themselves to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and committed to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind, and to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
- In view of the abovementioned we call upon the Russian Federation, as a state-guarantor under the Budapest Memorandum, to respect independence, sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine as well as to strictly abide by the obligations taken in accordance with other bilateral treaties with Ukraine, including Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership of 1997 and relevant agreements on status and terms of dislocation of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine.
- The Government of Ukraine also demands that the Russian Federation refrain from breaching state border of Ukraine by illegally moving its military units into the territory of Ukraine, and further demands to withdraw all Russian military units back to their permanent deployment locations.
- Ukraine requeststhat all GuarantorStatesunder Budapest Memorandum remain adherent and reaffirmwithpracticalactions their obligations and commitments.
In this regard I ask Security Council to consider my letter addressed to the President of the Security Council dated 28 February, 2014 and we expect for the relevant reaction of the United Nations Security Council.