Press stakeout following the UN Security Council session on the Situation in Ukraine on February 17, 2022.

17.02.2022 - Speech

The joint press statement by European Union Member States France, Germany, Ireland, Estonia, joined by Albania, Norway and the EU Delegation was delivered by the French Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador de Riviere. Germany was represented at the press stakeout by Ambassador Leendertse.

We, European Union Member States France, Germany, Ireland, Estonia, joined today by Albania, Norway and the EU Delegation, reiterate our full support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and other relevant OSCE commitments.

We call for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, starting with the unconditional observance of the ceasefire, which includes full adherence to the measures to strengthen the ceasefire of 22 July 2020, as last stated in the declaration of the political advisors of the Normandy format of 26 January 2022. At the meeting of the political advisors in the Normandy format in Berlin on 10 February, all participants committed to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and the corresponding negotiation formats. We welcome commitments by the Ukrainian authorities to provide proposals on outstanding legislation required by the Minsk agreements. Ukraine would thereby contribute constructively to moving forward. We call on Russia to engage constructively as well and fulfil all its commitments, including on humanitarian and security issues, in order to achieve progress in the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. We will continue our intensive efforts in the Normandy format to that end.

We express strong concern regarding the resolution of the Russian State Duma calling for the recognition by the President of the Russian Federation of the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk. We warn against such a step, which would constitute a further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and directly contradict the spirit and the letter of the Minsk agreements.

We express our grave concern about Russia’s massive build-up of armed forces in and around Ukraine. We underscore that any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine would have massive consequences and entail unprecedented costs. We encourage Ukraine to continue its posture of restraint.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission plays a key role in de-escalation efforts and as the eyes and ears of the international community. We call on Russia to ensure that the mission can carry out its mandate and have full access to non-government controlled areas.

We echo the urgent call of the Secretary General to resolve problems through diplomacy. In this spirit, we call on Russia to take concrete steps towards de-escalating the situation at the Ukrainian border, to provide full transparency on its military activities in the region and to engage in a meaningful dialogue on security in Europe. We reaffirm our readiness to engage constructively in meaningful and result-oriented discussions on security issues of mutual concern in the relevant Frameworks.

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