Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected by all sides and at all times, says Chair
Bern, August 29, 2014 - Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Didier Burkhalter, expressed great concern about the spreading of military confrontation to further areas in eastern parts of Ukraine and the respective escalation of tensions. He also said that reports about growing flows of military personnel and military equipment from the Russian Federation into Ukraine were greatly troubling and must be thoroughly investigated. He recalled that the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its sovereignty had to be respected and preserved by all sides and at all times, adding that failure to do so would contravene international law and fundamental principles of the OSCE.
Emphasizing the importance of the recent summit meeting in Minsk and the striving for a diplomatic solution, Burkhalter urged leaders of all sides to help translate their commitment for peace into meaningful practical progress and to continue their dialogue to that end. Commending the work of the Trilateral Contact Group, he encouraged all sides to use this platform even more intensively and work with the CiO representative to simultaneously establish agreements on the conditions of a ceasefire and on the effective control of the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Burkhalter pointed out that the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine had established a base in Mariupol and was strengthening its presence there in order to expand its monitoring activities in the region and provide verified information about current developments. He concluded by saying that the OSCE would continue to assist Ukraine in efforts at de-escalating the situation and to support, facilitate and promote respective dialogue on the international level as well as within Ukraine.