EU8 Statement ahead of the Security Council Briefing on Ukraine

12.02.2019 - Press release

I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the five EU Members of the
Security Council (France, Germany, Poland, Belgium and the UK), and Italy, the Netherlands
and Sweden, as former EU Members of the Security Council, which demonstrates the
continuity of the EU’s position on Ukraine.

We, as Member States of the European Union, fully support the independence, sovereignty
and territorial integrity of Ukraine within the internationally recognised borders.

After five years of conflict, the deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine has had an
increasing impact on the civilian population, in particular the most vulnerable living in the
Non-Government Controlled Areas, and along the Line of Contact where people are under
continuous threat of shelling. Some 3.5 million people require humanitarian assistance and
protection due to widespread mine contamination, escalating psychological trauma and lack
of access to basic services. We share a profound concern for their suffering.

In line with our continued concern regarding the degraded humanitarian situation in eastern
Ukraine, we urge all parties to the conflict to re-establish full access for all international
humanitarian organisations to the non-government controlled areas and to allow smooth and
speedy delivery of humanitarian assistance in line with humanitarian principles and
International Humanitarian Law. We reiterate our support to humanitarian actors in Ukraine
and underscore the importance of a focused and highly prioritised strategy such as the Multi-
Year Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 and 2020.

We call on Russia to immediately stop fueling the conflict by providing financial and military
support to the armed foundations, and we will remain deeply concerned about information on
the presence of Russian military equipment and personnel in areas currently not under the
control of the government of Ukraine. We strongly condemn the continued threats and
restrictions to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which occur predominantly in areas
currently not under the control of the government of the Ukraine. The Special Monitoring
Mission must have safe, secure, unconditional and unimpeded access throughout Ukraine.

We remain convinced that a peaceful resolution of the conflict is possible and call on all sides
to swiftly and fully implement the Minsk agreements and honour their commitments in full in
order to achieve a sustainable political solution to the conflict. We fully support the efforts
within the Normandy format for implementing the Minsk agreement. The OSCE’s role in the
Trilateral Contact Group and the Special Monitoring Mission are crucial for implementation
in that regard.

The conflict has put pressure on the young Ukrainian democracy and its economy. We call on
the Ukrainian government to continue its reforms, and we will continue to support it in its
efforts bilaterally, through the EU, and in other international institutions.

In line with UN General Assembly resolution no 68/262 (2014) we do not recognise and
continue to condemn the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia, which
remains a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and a direct
challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order
that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

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