Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, Concerning the Situation in Ukraine at the 987th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 06.03.2014

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

Allow me to begin by emphasizing the value we attach to this exchange of views on the situation in Ukraine at this Permanent Council meeting. After all, our Organization in general and the Council in particular are platforms for political dialogue.

I have heard how my esteemed Russian colleague emphasized the need for constructive dialogue and engagement. He also stressed that the important thing at this juncture is to try to find a way out. I agree that we should focus on ways to deescalate the ongoing crisis. And when my Russian colleague refers to dialogue, I believe they could start by engaging without further delay with Ukraine. This direct dialogue is essential in order to avoid further misunderstandings and to attain a clear understanding of what is going on.

I have been stressing the fact that in the OSCE, we have a toolbox at our disposal with a variety of mechanisms and instruments devised to be used in situations like the one we are currently facing. Our experts are on the ground right now, in response to the invitation extended by Ukraine within the framework of the Vienna Document. It is essential that they be able to unimpededly conduct their work which aims at deescalating the situation and creating clarity.

We appreciate the initiatives taken by the Chairmanship-in-Office, the Secretary General and our OSCE institutions. We believe all these initiatives should comprise concerted efforts, embracing all participating States, in order to resolve the current crisis. We are fearful of steps that could jeopardize the already tense situation and we make a strong plea to all sides to refrain from taking such steps. The way forward can only be through engagement in discussions.

One method of deescalation could be the proposed monitoring mission. When we consider that the Russian Federation is also expressing its concerns about the events taking place on the ground, a fact-finding mission could supply objectively established information on the situation, thereby bolstering much-needed confidence and trust.

In any event, we should all remember and uphold our commitments as well as the strong founding principles of our Organization, and within this framework also the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

Thank you.