Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey on the Situation in Ukraine, 1019th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 16.10.2014
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

Turkey remains deeply concerned by the continuing violations of the ceasefire regime, including the events of the past few days which led to the loss of many lives. We reiterate our view that the ceasefire is an opportunity for sustainable de-escalation of the ongoing crisis and that it would be irresponsible and deplorable to put it at risk. Furthermore, we believe that permanent OSCE monitoring of the Ukraine-Russia border needs to go hand in hand with the ceasefire monitoring. In this context the Minsk Protocol, which we continue to support, establishes the basic foundation for the way forward. It is important for the Minsk Protocol to be fully and effectively implemented, including the permanent OSCE monitoring of the Ukraine-Russia border. We hope that a consensus can soon be reached on the extension and reinforcement of the mandate of the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk. We reiterate our belief that a significant expansion of the Observer Mission, combined with effective monitoring on the Ukrainian side of the border by the Special Monitoring Mission, would contribute to the permanent border control required by the Minsk Protocol.

Mr. Chairperson,

The early parliamentary elections planned for October 26th in Ukraine are rapidly approaching. It is our sincere hope that these elections will take place in a free and fair democratic environment, resulting in a new Parliament in which the various political preferences of the Ukrainian people are adequately represented and providing a sound basis for the reform process and inclusive national dialogue process that Ukraine is determined to pursue in the period ahead of us.

As also underlined in the ODIHR Election Observation Mission’s interim report published last Friday, the participation in the October 26th elections of a large part of Ukraine’s population, including native Russian speakers and the Crimean Tatar minority, will unfortunately be affected due to the situation in Crimea as well as parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts. We regret that these Ukrainian citizens are being effectively denied their right to take part in this general expression of the Ukrainian people’s will. We commend the efforts of the Government of Ukraine to allow voters from the Crimean peninsula, as well as from Donetsk and Lugansk, to transfer their voting address to other parts of the country under simplified procedures.

Within this framework we would further like to stress once again that the illegitimate and illegal de facto situation in Crimea, which Turkey continues to regard as part of Ukraine, remains a key dimension of the Ukraine crisis. Being gravely concerned by the ongoing intimidation, human rights violations and murders of members of minority groups in Crimea, we will continue to closely follow developments on the peninsula with a particular emphasis on the security and well-being of the Crimean Tatars. In this context we underline the need for our Organization to remain seized of this matter with all its assets.

Let me also take this opportunity to emphasize yet again our firm position that the crisis in and around Ukraine needs to be settled through peaceful diplomatic means within the framework of respect towards Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty and political unity, in line with international law and our shared OSCE commitments.

Thank you.