On the Extension of the Mandate of the SMM

OSCE monitors talking to locals in Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk region, March 18, 2016. (OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Interpretative Statement Regarding the Extension of the Mandate of the SMM to Ukraine

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry R. Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
March 22, 2018

The United States welcomes the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. In doing so, we reaffirm the interpretative statements we made upon adoption of the mandate on March 21, 2014, upon the first extension of the mandate on July 24, 2014, the second extension of the mandate on March 12, 2015, the third extension of the mandate on February 18, 2016, and the fourth extension of the mandate on March 16, 2017. These interpretative statements were made under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the Rules of Procedure, and we note they remain in force.

Mr. Chair, we remind the Permanent Council of the key elements of these statements:

The United States reaffirms its firm commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

We note that the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has a mandate to work throughout Ukraine, including Crimea.

We note that all participating States must cooperate with the Special Monitoring Mission and must take no action to obstruct its access to Crimea or any other region of Ukraine.

We offer our gratitude to all monitors, staff, and the leadership of the Special Monitoring Mission for their dedicated service under difficult and, at times, dangerous conditions.

We call on Ukraine, Russia, and the Russia-backed separatists to ensure that the Special Monitoring Mission has unfettered movement throughout the entire territory of Ukraine, and to guarantee the safety and security of SMM monitors as they carry out their duties.

We stress, once again, that attacks, threats, and intimidation of any kind against SMM monitors are unacceptable, inconsistent with this mandate, and must end. Attempts to interfere with SMM operations, including SMM UAV flights and other technical monitoring means, are also inconsistent with this mandate and must end as well. Such acts undermine Minsk implementation.

Mr. Chair, I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and to the journal of the day.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.