Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the Council of Europe

, Kyiv 14:08

Permanent Representative of Ukraine Clarified Compatibility of Newly Adopted Law on Occupied Areas of Donbas with International Commitments of Ukraine

07 February, 18:08

Statement delivered by the Delegation of Ukraine at the 1306 meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, 7 February 2018, Strasbourg

Mr Chairperson,

Dear colleagues,

We would like to respond to the statement of the Russian Delegation on the newly adopted Law of Ukraine “On the Specifics of the State Policy on Ensuring State Sovereignty of Ukraine over the Temporarily Occupied Territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”.

The Law is based on two basic pillars – restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity over the occupied areas of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and improvement of the mechanisms of resolving social and economic issues to properly address respective needs of people in the conflict zone.

The law does declare that Russia “is performing a criminal act of aggression” against Ukraine, and “temporarily occupies a portion of its territory,” governing Donbas with the help of the “occupation administration” controlled by Moscow. There is nothing sensational in this recognition. The lawmakers have simply called spade a spade.

Ukraine and the international community make peaceful efforts to ensure sustainable de-escalation on the basis of the Minsk agreements. In its turn, Russia demonstrates unwillingness to implement Minsk commitments, beginning with the initial security provisions.

Let’s take just three examples: many hopes were put on the so-called "Christmas" truce. Yet, since 23 December 2017 the Ukrainian Side has recorded only one day without suffering from shellings and other types of violation of the ceasefire.

On a parallel track, starting from 1 January 2018, the Ukrainian side of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination sent 40 applications for repair and restoration works. The other party gave security guarantees in only one single case.

The statistics of restrictions of access for the OSCE SMM monitors also speaks for itself. During the so-called "Christmas" armistice Russia-backed illegal armed formations restricted the free movement of the monitors in 44 cases. On the territory, controlled by the Government of Ukraine, only 3 similar incidents were registered.

The substance of this new Law makes it clear that Ukraine remains devoted to a peaceful resolution in Donbas by politico-diplomatic means, with the ultimate goal of restoring sovereignty and territorial integrity over the occupied areas of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, as it is stated in article 4 of the document.

The law is also an important step forward for our citizens, affected by this aggression. Among other things, it:

-       guarantees rights, including property rights in the occupied territories, for internally displaced persons and residents of these territories;

-       identifies mechanisms for documenting violations of human rights and freedoms and proper responding to such violations.

Indeed, this law was a legitimate move, aimed at restoring peace and security in our country. It does not contradict any of our international commitments, including Minsk agreements.

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

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