High-level OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation visits Ukraine

280622 meeting with Stefanchuk 1OSCE PA delegation meeting with Ruslan Stefanchuk, 27 June 2022COPENHAGEN, 28 June 2022 – A delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly comprising President Margareta Cederfelt (MP, Sweden) Vice-President Reinhold Lopatka (MP, Austria), Chair of the economic and environmental committee Pere Joan Pons (MP, Spain), Special Representative Kari Henriksen (MP, Norway), and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella visited Ukraine on Monday.

The OSCE PA high-level delegation met in Kyiv with Speaker of the Ukraine Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mykola Tochytskyi. They visited the surroundings of Kyiv, Irpin and Bucha, cities that have been severely damaged by Russian military forces. The delegation met with the mayors of Irpin and Bucha, who shared the tragic experience of their communities in the first days of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The delegation was shown the sites of mass graves in Bucha and the severe infrastructure damage in both Irpin and Bucha.

“Our visit was done to show support and solidarity with Ukraine,” President Cederfelt said. “In all of our meetings, we have heard of war crimes being committed and our visit to Irpin and Bucha was a tremendously shocking and eye-opening experience. While we were in the country, missiles hit a Ukrainian shopping mall in Kremenchuk killing and wounding dozens of innocent people. It is vital that evidence is collected for all of these tragic incidents, and in this regard, I urge continued support for the investigations of the International Criminal Court and other relevant authorities.”

She added: “I would like to thank the OSCE PA’s Ukrainian parliamentary delegation for their dedicated work to keep us informed about the volatile situation on the ground, as well as for their commitment and active contribution to the work of the OSCE PA.”

Reinhold Lopatka, who serves the Assembly’s Special Representative for Parliamentary Dialogue on Ukraine, extended gratitude to Speaker Stefanchuk for his efforts and those of his colleagues particularly as the OSCE PA prepares for the Annual Session in Birmingham on 2-6 July. “I would like to thank Ukraine and all brave Ukrainian parliamentarians for fighting for freedom and commonly shared values,” Lopatka said. “It is paramount that we stay united in Birmingham, and act united.” He added that in the context of the ongoing violence it is difficult to think of diplomacy but stressed the importance of pursuing dialogue nonetheless.

“I fully understand that with the unfolding war it is hard to imagine and talk about diplomacy, yet I am convinced that as parliamentarians we have to ensure that the OSCE PA as a platform for parliamentary dialogue is preserved for future diplomatic efforts,” Lopatka said.

Henriksen assured Ukraine of continued support from the OSCE PA and urged a full accounting of alleged war crimes. “The PA is dismayed by reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity as well as the discovery of mass graves on the territory that was under control of the Russian forces, and calls for a swift, full and transparent investigation with support of the relevant international institutions to ensure accountability and prevent impunity of those responsible,” Henriksen said.

Pons highlighted the humanitarian impact of the war and its ramifications beyond Ukraine’s borders. “The war is bringing not only destruction to Ukraine but is causing suffering, food crisis and economic challenges that outgrow the European continent,” Pons said. “I urge continued international efforts to establish food export corridors with Romania and Poland as well as to remove the blockade from the Odessa and Black Sea route.”

Secretary General Montella said: “The OSCE PA has always demonstrated an unwavering support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine since 2014 when the Assembly adopted a resolution calling for clear, gross and uncorrected violations of the Helsinki Final Act. Since February 24 this Assembly has spoken up publicly against the war, has debated thoroughly amongst lawmakers of the 57 OSCE countries, visited the field to show support to the victims – refugees and this last visit to Kyiv, Irpin and Bucha marks a very good start to our Birmingham Annual Session and the decisions that will be voted on by parliamentarians.”

Montella also expressed the Assembly’s appreciation for the work of the women and men international and local staff who have served in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine during all these years. “Their work and commitment has been commendable and I regret they can no longer perform their vital function as eyes and ears of the international community on the ground,” Montella said.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will gather in Birmingham, United Kingdom, on 2-6 July for its 29th Annual Session. The war in Ukraine will feature prominently in discussions and in the Birmingham Declaration to be adopted on 6 July.

For photos of yesterday's visit to Ukraine, please click here. (More to come)



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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