Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, on the Situation in Ukraine, 1041st Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 26.02.2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,

Since the last time we discussed the crisis in and around Ukraine at the Permanent Council, the United Nations Security Council has adopted its Resolution 2205, endorsing the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements and calling on all parties to fully implement it. This is a welcome development. However, even though last weekend saw an initial exchange of prisoners, the reports of the Special Monitoring Mission indicate that fierce fighting still continues in several areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts. Furthermore, though the SMM remains able to partially monitor the movement of heavy weapons, it is unable to verify their withdrawal without the necessary information which the parties have yet to provide.

Turkey continues to back all diplomatic efforts to bring about a solution to the crisis that is respectful towards Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including Crimea, as well as its independence, sovereignty and political unity in keeping with our shared OSCE commitments and international law. We firmly support the Minsk Package of Measures and believe all sides should now exercise utmost restraint and act in good faith by completely ceasing hostilities, fully adhering to the ceasefire and withdrawing their heavy weapons.

Mr. Chairperson,

In light of recent developments, we particularly welcome Tuesday’s declaration by the four Normandy-format Foreign Ministers. We fully share the views expressed in the declaration, several of which bear repeating here. The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, the Russian Federation and Ukraine jointly called for the strict implementation of all provisions of the Minsk agreements. They asked for the SMM to be reinforced and its mandate to be extended with the required additional personnel, equipment and financing, as recently outlined in the sound concept presented by the Mission. They called on all parties to ensure full access of OSCE monitors to all areas and to fully cooperate with the OSCE. They invited the OSCE and the Joint Center for Control and Coordination to closely liaise in their respective functions with the aim of supporting our Organization’s efforts to monitor and verify the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. They further called upon the Trilateral Contact Group to establish working groups as soon as possible with the participation of all signatories of the Minsk Agreements so as to make progress on the various provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures.

Within this framework I would like to reiterate our strong and unwavering support for the SMM and for Ambassador Tagliavini and the activities of the Trilateral Contact Group. I would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize that death threats against SMM monitors, as described in a recent SMM report, are simply unacceptable and must cease immediately.

Mr. Chairperson,

Chairman-in-Office Minister Dacic stressed last week that this is a critical moment for Ukraine. We couldn’t agree more. The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements presents a very real and workable opportunity to finally achieve a sustainable ceasefire and usher in the necessary environment for a lasting peaceful settlement of the crisis in and around Ukraine. It is a chance none of the sides can afford to miss. It remains our sincere hope that they will make good use of it to lay the foundations for tomorrow’s stable and prosperous Ukraine, which is what its people deserve after nearly a year of widespread human suffering and devastation.

Thank you.