Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, on the Situation in Ukraine, 1024th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 06.11.2014
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

The daily reports prepared by the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine continue to indicate that ceasefire violations, including heavy artillery shelling as well as mortar and tank fire, are taking place on a regular basis in some areas of the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts. Turkey remains deeply concerned by these ongoing violations of the ceasefire regime. I would like to reiterate our view that the full and effective implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum remains the basis for a sustainable de-escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. Within this framework it is important to stress the close link between ceasefire monitoring and border monitoring. The SMM, now in an augmentation phase as explained in detail during Monday’s Special Permanent Council meeting by Ambassador Apakan, is and will continue to be our Organization’s foremost enabling instrument on the ground for carrying out these critical additional taskings. We support the efforts to increase the Mission’s personnel and enhance its operational capabilities, while continuing to underline that this must be done with utmost care in order to preserve the trust and confidence that the SMM enjoys from different actors on the ground.

The SMM’s recent spot and daily reports also point out that the Mission’s civilian unmanned aerial vehicles, which have only very recently entered into use, have been fired upon and repeatedly been subject to military-grade GPS jamming. We regret these disturbing developments and call upon all sides to facilitate, not to hinder, the SMM’s monitoring activities in Ukraine, of which the UAVs have now become a new component.

Mr. Chairperson,

I would like to make use of this opportunity to reemphasize our firm conviction 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 our shared OSCE commitments and international law.

In this context I also wish to stress our position that the so-called elections which were organized in the separatist-controlled parts of Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts on November 2nd constituted a violation of the Minsk Protocol and of Ukrainian law, and that neither these elections nor their results have any validity for my country. We call on all sides to act in keeping with the letter and the spirit of the Minsk Protocol so as not to lose the gains achieved from this agreement.

I would further like to underline yet again that the illegitimate and illegal de facto situation in Crimea, which Turkey continues to regard as part of Ukraine, is a key dimension of the ongoing crisis. The unabated human rights violations of minority groups in Crimea remain a matter of grave and urgent concern. Members of the Crimean Tatar minority in particular continue to be subject to harassment, intimidation, enforced disappearances and murder, as also underlined last week by the speakers in the SHDM side event on “Human Rights in Crimea”, which Turkey co-sponsored. We call on those responsible to desist from such unacceptable acts, and reemphasize that we will continue to closely follow developments on the peninsula with a particular emphasis on the security and well-being of the Crimean Tatars. We also expect the OSCE and its institutions to remain seized of this matter with all the assets at their disposal.

Thank you.