High-level visit to war-torn Ukraine demonstrates OSCE PA’s solidarity and support for accountability



060224 PK at VRPresident Pia Kauma addressing the Parliament of Ukraine, Kyiv, 6 February 2024KYIV, 6 February 2024 – Visiting Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities this week, a delegation led by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Pia Kauma (Finland) underscored the stark reality of war and suffering that Ukraine endures daily. The purpose of the visit was to show support to Ukraine, listen to Ukrainian voices, and advocate for accountability for the destruction that Russian Federation has inflicted. The delegation reiterated the Assembly’s calls for the Russian Federation to cease its military operations and to withdraw its troops from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine.

The delegation, consisting of four members of the OSCE PA’s Parliamentary Support Team for Ukraine, as well as OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella and the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairpersonship in Ukraine, Ambassador Marcel Pesko, demonstrated unity across the parliamentary and the governmental branches. Members expressed appreciation for the longstanding contribution of the OSCE on the ground, most recently undertaken by its Support Programme for Ukraine, as well as the valuable work of Special Representative Pesko and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

In a speech today to the Verkhovna Rada, President Kauma underlined the longstanding solidarity with Ukraine that the OSCE PA has demonstrated since the annexation of Crimea and the onset of hostilities in the Donbas 10 years ago, noting that the PA has consistently called out countless breaches of international commitments. “We want to hold the Russian Federation accountable,” Kauma said. “We want to bridge the gap between political declarations and tangible action. We want our commitment to go beyond words.”

Kauma pointed out that this is why the Assembly decided at the Vancouver Annual Session last summer to establish the Parliamentary Support Team for Ukraine. “This has helped the OSCE PA fully exploit its capacity to foster innovative exchanges on how parliaments and governments worldwide can effectively support Ukraine,” she said. Her address to the Rada followed an invitation from the Speaker to address the body on its official opening of the new session and marked the first time an OSCE PA President has had this honour, with the rest of the PA delegation observing from the hemicycle.

Other members of the delegation visiting Ukraine this week included PSTU Rapporteur Mark Demesmaeker (Belgium), Siv Mossleth (Norway), and Luís Graça Nunes (Portugal). Talks were held with Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk, Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Iryna Borovets, and members of the Ukrainian Delegation to the OSCE PA, led by Vice-President Mykyta Poturaiev.

In a meeting of the PSTU in Kyiv, members focused on the status of investigations into war crimes and prospects for establishing a special international tribunal for crimes of aggression. The PSTU discussed the impact of armed aggression on the socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Ukraine, as well as the efficacy of sanctions and the use of frozen assets of the Russian Federation for the needs of restoration of the destroyed infrastructure. PSTU members heard from representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs..

060224 crpcPSTU members meeting with Children’s Rights Protection Center, Kyiv, 6 February 2024The delegation also met with representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and the Children’s Rights Protection Center. Discussions focused on the transfer and deportation to Russia of an estimated 20,000 Ukrainian children from non-government controlled areas, and the prospects of returning them to their families in Ukraine. In a meeting with the heads of political factions and groups in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, PSTU members heard various perspectives on the political and security situation in Ukraine. Today, they visited Irpin and Gostomel where they met with local authorities and witnessed the devastating effects of the war.

Delegates also raised concerns over the three former OSCE Special Monitoring Mission staff members who have been detained in the occupied areas of Ukraine, reiterating the PA’s demands for their unconditional release. Today, the delegation met with Margaryta Shabanova, the wife of one of three SMM monitors.

In meetings, PSTU members have stressed the importance of the OSCE’s comprehensive approach in promoting long-term peace and stability, and encouraged Ukrainian institutional and governmental stakeholders to facilitate further political engagement with the OSCE. In particular, they urged more support on legal matters related to the OSCE’s Support Programme for Ukraine and greater inclusion in co-ordination and policy-making mechanisms. This is especially important in the context of Ukraine’s Peace Formula and the relevant working groups specialized on technical assistance, they said.

This week’s visit of the PSTU to Ukraine is the first since its establishment in June 2023.

For more information on the PSTU, please click here.

Photos of the visit are available for public use on Flickr.



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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