Chairperson-in-Office welcomes Minsk agreement, assures President Poroshenko of OSCE support
BERN, 5 September 2014 - OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter welcomed today’s agreement in Minsk on a ceasefire and on launching a political process to resolve the crisis. Emphasizing the opportunity to finally reverse the logic of escalation, he said that this conflict had caused far too much bloodshed and misery already and urged all sides to implement today’s commitments. Burkhalter also commended the work of the Trilateral Contact Group and thanked his Special Representative Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini for her untiring work.
In a meeting in Wales this afternoon, the Chairperson-in-Office assured President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine that the OSCE within its mandate would do everything possible to assist Ukraine in implementing the agreement. He also said that the Swiss Chairmanship would continue to support and actively contribute to diplomatic efforts to further de-escalate the crisis.
In a preceding session with NATO foreign ministers and heads of European security organizations on the crisis in and around Ukraine and its implications for European security at large, Burkhalter had already announced that the Special Monitoring Mission would now significantly expand, adapt to changing needs, and recruit more specialists for tasks such as ceasefire monitoring and border monitoring. He also said that the Swiss Chairmanship was ready to immediately appoint a successor to Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger as Special Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office to assist inclusive national dialogue in Ukraine if requested by the Ukrainian authorities. In his statement, Burkhalter made the case for sticking with co-operative security even at this time of heightened tension and said that sanctions and defensive measures to reassure allies and partners render diplomacy ever more important.