Munich Security Conference: OSCE Troika calls for immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
MUNICH, Germany, 7 February 2015 – During the Ministerial Meeting of the OSCE Troika at the margins of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Troika, Serbia, Switzerland and Germany, had a thorough exchange of views on the situation in and around Ukraine. The OSCE Secretary General also attended the meeting.
They expressed grave concern about the growing violence in eastern Ukraine and condemned, in the strongest terms, the escalation of military activities and indiscriminate use of heavy weapons in civilian areas.
The Ministers called upon all sides in the conflict to immediately cease all hostilities and return to the negotiating table. They reiterated their view on the necessity of continuing the consultations within the Trilateral Contact Group on securing a sustainable ceasefire and the full implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, signed in September 2014. They emphasized that these two documents remain the basis for a peaceful settlement of the crisis.
The OSCE Troika expressed full support for the work of the OSCE executive structures in Ukraine, in particular the Special Monitoring Mission and the Special Representative of the Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini. They urged all sides to fully respect and ensure the safety and security of monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The Ministers stated their support for the extension of the SMM mandate and for its sound and sustainable budgeting.
The three Ministers declared: “All sides must take a constructive and pragmatic approach and demonstrate willingness in moving towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict. They should fully assume their responsibilities and immediately halt this vicious cycle of hostilities, which causes loss of civilian lives and grave deterioration of the humanitarian situation.” The Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, who chaired the OSCE last year, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who will take over the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2016, expressed their continued support to the efforts of current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić.
The Ministers called for redoubling of efforts by all sides in order to reach a political settlement and prevent further suffering of innocent civilians. They also supported the proposal on achieving immediate temporary truces in the area of eastern Ukraine, particularly in the area of Debaltseve, which would allow for the evacuation of the civilian population.
Referring to the Helsinki +40 Process, initiated with the aim of commemorating 40 years of the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, the Organization's key founding document, the members of the OSCE Troika stressed that against the backdrop of the worst crisis of European security since the end of the Cold Ward there is an urgent need to regain the spirit of cooperation and to enhance and strengthen the OSCE’s capabilities and capacity to effectively address threats to European Security.
The Troika also met the newly-established Panel of Eminent Persons, launched in December 2014 at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel, whose members will examine ways in which to reconsolidate European security as a common project.