COPENHAGEN, 25 February 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) today issued the following statement on continuing restrictions imposed on OSCE monitors in Ukraine and the need for full Russian support:
"I am profoundly disturbed by the illegal separatists' continuing refusal to grant unlimited, safe access to OSCE monitors on the ground in Ukraine and their violations of the Minsk Package of Measures. By extension, I am also disturbed by Russia's apparent unwillingness to publicly insist that the rebels immediately allow the monitors access, stop all ceasefire violations and withdraw all heavy weapons. Any attempts by the rebels to threaten the city of Mariupol must be met with a swift and decisive response by the international community.
"I echo OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier in insisting that Russia can do more, and that also includes full support for the expansion of all OSCE monitoring activities in Ukraine. Rejection by Russia's UN ambassador of an enlarged monitoring mission on the Ukrainian-Russian border runs counter to the international community's efforts to make sure weapons are flowing out of -- not into -- Ukraine. Indeed, Russia's objection to more eyes along the most volatile border in Europe today raises more concerns that this mission, in its highly limited capacity, is simply being used as a cover, while separatists receive the material support they need.
"The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly remains ready to help rebuild trust and promote dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian lawmakers, and I hope that the facts on the ground will soon work in support of our efforts," Kanerva said.
President Kanerva met with members of the Russian and Ukrainian Delegations to the OSCE PA on the sidelines of the Assembly's Winter Meeting last week, where the crisis in Ukraine was the topic of a special debate.
VIENNA, 20 February 2015 – Nearly 250 parliamentarians from more than 50 OSCE participating States held an impassioned and at-times heated debate today on the crisis in Ukraine, the Organization's responses and the status of the Minsk package of measures aimed at a resolution.
Top OSCE officials working on the crisis, including Ambassadors Heidi Tagliavini and Ertugrul Apakan, offered remarks ahead of the debate, which was held at the concluding session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Winter Meeting in Vienna.
In his opening remarks, PA President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) said, "As lawmakers from the OSCE's 57 states we must be vocal and unequivocal in furthering the goal of peace in and around Ukraine. With every rocket launched, hope for a diplomatic solution grows dimmer."
VIENNA, 19 February 2015 – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic joined OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) for the opening plenary of the PA's Winter Meeting today, with both stressing that the internationally brokered plan to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine must not be derailed.
Addressing nearly 250 parliamentarians from more than 50 OSCE participating States, Dacic described the current situation as a "very difficult moment for the security of the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions."
"I encourage all sides to fully adhere to the Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements signed on 12 February, thus seizing the opportunity to de-escalate the conflict and put an end to civilian casualties. I strongly urge all sides to refrain from any action that might endanger the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine... Another opportunity for a peaceful resolution of the conflict should not be missed," the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office said.
Statement on the rejection of Russia’s designation of Olga Kovitidi as a Member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
VIENNA, 18 February 2015 – The Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly today unanimously rejected the Russian Federation’s designation of Olga Kovitidi as a Member of the OSCE PA. Ms. Kovitidi was identified by the Russian Federation as a Member of the Federation Council representing the so-called government of Crimea. The Bureau made its decision following an official challenge by the Ukrainian Delegation to the OSCE PA regarding the designation.
The Bureau is composed of the elected President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer and Officers of the Assembly’s three General Committees. The Bureau considered the recommendation of a Credentials Committee, whose members were appointed by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva for this purpose. Members of both the Bureau and of the Credentials Committee heard statements by Members of the Russian and Ukrainian Delegations to the OSCE PA before considering the matter. The Credentials Committee recommended that the Bureau reject the Russian Federation’s designation of Ms. Kovitidi, citing Rule 1.1 and Rule 3 of the Rules of Procedure on the composition and membership of the Assembly.