Ball clearly in Russia’s court to resolve Ukraine crisis, says OSCE PA President at NATO PA

2014-NATO-PA-KanervaOSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva addresses the NATO PA's Annual Session, 24 November.COPENHAGEN, 24 November 2014 – It is first and foremost up to Russia to take immediate, concrete steps towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) said today in an address at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s 60th Annual Session in The Hague.

“Key OSCE commitments have been swept aside [during the Ukraine conflict]. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of one of the OSCE’s participating States has been violated,” Kanerva said.

“I urge all parties to honor their ceasefire commitments strictly and to implement in their entirety the measures agreed upon in the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum. Having said that, the ball is clearly in Russia’s court. In order to move forward towards a peaceful resolution of this crisis, Russia must withdraw all forces and equipment from Ukraine and away from its border and end its support for separatist forces,” he continued.

The OSCE PA President also referred to the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE’s founding document, in commenting on recent public statements by Russian officials in which they have called for guarantees that Ukraine will not pursue NATO membership. The first in the Final Act’s decalogue of core principles states that OSCE participating States “have the right to belong or not to belong to international organizations, to be or not to be a party to bilateral or multilateral treaties, including the right to be or not to be a party to treaties of alliance.”

“Simply put, it’s up to Ukraine and no one else,” Kanerva said.

Before parliamentarians from NATO’s 28 member countries, Kanerva also urged the international community to work toward restoring “a sense of common purpose and security that goes beyond just blocs.”

He also called for continued active co-operation between the NATO PA and OSCE PA, highlighting the Assemblies’ successful collaboration in election observation and underscoring the importance of both bodies in providing democratic legitimacy to their respective organizations’ work.

For Kanerva’s full remarks, click here



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