Interpretative Statement on the Adoption of an Extension of the SMM Mandate

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council
Vienna, July 24, 2014

In connection with the decision to extend the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.

The United States welcomes the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. In so doing, we reaffirm the interpretative statement we made on 21 March, upon adoption of the mandate, under paragraph IV.1 (A)6 of the Rules of Procedure, and we note that that interpretative statement remains in force. We remind the Permanent Council of the key elements of that statement.

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

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

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

In addition to recalling those key elements of our interpretative statement – a statement that remains in effect with the renewal of this mandate – we would also like to use this opportunity to offer our gratitude to all monitors, staff, and leadership of the Special Monitoring Mission. Some of the conditions that they have faced have been difficult and at times unacceptable – in particular that monitors of this Mission were kidnapped and held hostage for more than one month. Their kidnapping serves to remind us all of the particular challenges and risks these devoted professionals face as they monitor ongoing actions by the Russian Federation that contravene OSCE principles and commitments in Ukraine. We call upon the Russian Federation to cease providing weapons, financing, and fighters to the separatists. In addition to de-escalating the crisis, those measures will improve the safety in which the SMM monitors should be operating.

I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and to the Journal of the Day.