Interpretative Statement: Declaration of Support for the Special Monitoring Mission
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Kate M. Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 27, 2017
The United States welcomes the adoption by the Permanent Council of the Declaration of Support for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Following the Tragic Incident That Occurred on 23 April 2017. We make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the Rules of Procedure:
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 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.
We regret that the Russian Federation would not agree to include in the Declaration of Support for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine a demand that the SMM’s access throughout Ukraine be guaranteed on the ground and be provided without reservations, hindrance or delay. We likewise regret that the Russian Federation would not agree to include in the Declaration condemnation of attempts to harass or intimidate SMM monitors or to prevent them from carrying out their duties.
I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and to the journal of the day.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.