take this opportunity to congratulate you with your effective Presidency of the Council for the month of January.
Since it’s the first time my delegation takes the floor this year, I would like to congratulate with their election new members of the Council – Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela.
I would like to thank the delegation of Lithuania for requesting this meeting. Situation in Ukraine is in the focus of worldwide attention. Today alone, three different formats discuss this issue: UN Security Council, Normandy format on Ministerial level right now in Berlin, and the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers earlier in the day.
Yesterday, at the request of Ukraine the OSCE special Permanent Council meeting took place in Vienna.
It is almost a year when in February-March of 2014 the Russian Federation manipulated with the UN basic principles – the right for self-determination and the right to protect – in order to create a fake legal pretext to invade Ukraine.
As a result the Russian Federation occupied and then annexed a part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine - the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol.
Sooner or later the Russian Federation will be taken to justice for this particular crime of aggression against Ukraine.
As of today the Russian Federation continues its military aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine by sending military units to our territory, delivering heavy armaments to the local terrorist groupings, training, equipping and financing mercenaries, waging information war.
So-called “DNR” and “LNR” under direct supervision and control of the Russian Federation consciously and deliberately conduct terrorist attacks on the territory of Ukraine, aimed at the intimidation, manslaughter and severe injuries to the civil population, capture of hostages and state administrative buildings, fuelling of military conflict.
This joint Russia - “DNR”- “LNR” aggression against Ukraine is aimed at forcing my Government to change the constitutional and territorial order, undermining territorial integrity and political sovereignty of Ukraine.
We believe that the democratic world must further consolidate its joint and resolute response to aggression against Ukraine and violation of the international law by Russia. If there is no resolution, Ukraine will have to continue paying a too high price of human lives, enormous spending on the defense, rather than on reforms.
Basically, this is exactly what the aggressor aspires to.
To stop the reforms.
To prevent Ukraine from transforming into a modern European democratic state.
Each day over the past year has been a trauma for the Ukrainian people. On the June 8, militants of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic tortured and killed 8 priests and parishioners of the Protestant Church in the Ukrainian city of Slovyansk. On July 17, a Russian missile brought down Malaysian MH17 flight aircraft in the sky over Donbas, killing 298 innocent people from 17 countries. On January 13, terrorists fired at a passenger bus near the Ukrainian town of Volnovakha despite the declared ceasefire, killing 13 and wounding 15 Ukrainian civilians.
Ongoing investigation of this tragic terrorist attack against civilians near Volnovakha and relevant conclusions of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission prove that the shelling was carried out from the north-north-eastern areas currently occupied by the illegal armed group.
Let me express Ukraine’s appreciation of this Council’s strong condemnation of the terrorist act near Volnovakha.
My country wages a war against terrorism. It fights at the forefront for the universal values such as freedom, sovereignty and democracy.
With Minsk arrangements of 5th and 19th September 2014, the President of Ukraine have declared the cease-fire and began to implement all points, without an exception, signed by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the rebels.
Despite being signatories of the Minsk agreements, the Russian side and Russia-backed terrorists have continuously and brutally violated their provisions.
Since September 2014 with Russia’s backing and in breach of the Minsk arrangements the illegal armed groups have occupied over 550 km2. Due to incompliance of terrorists to the ceasefire regime, over this period Ukraine has lost 237 military and at least 148 civilians.
Contrary to the introduced ceasefire regime, the shelling of Ukrainian positions has increased. In particular, over the last 10 days only, shelling surpassed last month statistics.
Since signing of the Minsk agreements in September 2014 the Russian side has significantly mounted its military presence in Donbas (over 8,000 Russian regulars, 180 tanks, 570 APC, over 140 artillery systems, over 70 GRAD systems etc.) and filled the region with most sophisticated heavy weapons (including deadly TOS-1 Buratino systems).
Recently, the terrorists announced that they created their “air forces”. We presume that this may be a maneuver to cover up the following deployment and use of the Russian military aircrafts in action.
Build-up of the Russian troops at the border with Ukraine has been also increasing.
With your permission, Mr.President, I would like to bring some information in Russian.
Doing this purposely I address primarily the Russian mothers, wives and sisters of those Russian soldiers who appeared in Ukraine. Do they know that their sons, husbands, brothers are there and what for?
Что делает в районе населенных пунктов Георгиевка и Кумачове батальон воздушно-штурмовой дивизии из Пскова?
Что делает в районе населенных пунктов Победы, Григорьевка батальон отдельной воздушно-штурмовой бригады из Ульяновска?
Что делает в районе населенного пункта Старобешеве батальоны
отдельной моторизованной бригады из Майкопа и из Ставрополя?
Что делают кроме названных в Украине армейские подразделения из Волгограда, Калиниграда, Косторомы, Шилово, Рощинской, Юрги, Алейска, Гусиноозерска, Печенеги, Спутника, Новороссийска, Тулы, Наро-Фоминска и других?
Они там все в отпусках, как мы неоднократно слышали из пояснений российской стороны. Их семьи об этом знают?
What is this distinguished members of the Security Council if not an aggression?
We draw again the attention of the Security Council to the fact that the illegal armed groups intensify their attacks and shellings after receiving reinforcements from the territory of the Russian Federation, including in the form of the Russian so-called “humanitarian convoys”.
We denounce provocative statements by Russian officials, who tried to shift responsibility for violations onto Ukraine including those Russian delegation brought today to the Security Council.
Even despite intensification of foreign aggression Ukraine remains fully committed to peaceful settlement of the crisis, which should be based on the Minsk agreements and full respect of territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity of Ukraine. We have twice initiated the ceasefire and unilaterally adhered to it.
On 13 November 2014, representatives of Ukraine and Russia signed a working document envisaging a clear schedule of implementation of provisions of the Minsk agreements, in particular, concerning assurance of the bilateral cease-fire, withdrawal of heavy weapons and return to the touchline.
The Russian side recalled its signature under this document.
On 18 January Ukraine has once again reiterated its appeal to the Russian Federation with a suggestion to sign the timetable of implementation of the Minsk agreements, namely as worded on 13 November 2014, and to ensure the ceasefire starting from 19 January.
We believe that it will allow us immediately to cease fire and protect civilians from militant’s attacks in the region, what they have been doing in the course of last four months. The beginning of strict implementation of this document will create appropriate conditions for holding in the near future consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group, and later – the Summit of Heads of State and Government in Astana.
We demand this plan to be finally implemented.
Ukrainian side is ready to participate in the consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group with signatories of the Minsk agreements at any time.
As was stated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, “despite escalation of pressure and activation of terrorists, Ukraine is ready to sign the ceasefire agreement given our full adherence to the Minsk agreements… Ukraine is striving for peace”.
We still expect the same commitment to the Minsk agreements from the Russian side.
After all, it is the President of the Russian Federation who repeatedly confirmed his adherence to implementation of the Minsk agreements in full scope and without exceptions. Such a position was stated, inter alia, at the multilateral Summit in Milan.
We sincerely thank all our partners for their solidarity with us at this crucial time for Ukraine, Europe, this Council and the world.
Thank you, Mr. President