Interpretative Statement on the Extension of the Mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

Monitors of the OSCE SMM conducting a foot patrol in Pavlopil, 8 December 2015. Photo: OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka

Interpretative Statement on the Extension of the Mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

As prepared for delivery by Chargé d’Affaires Courtney Austrian
to the Permanent Council,
Vienna March 31, 2021

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The United States welcomes the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM). In so doing, we reaffirm the interpretative statements we made upon adoption of the mandate on 21 March 2014 and in subsequent years. These interpretative statements were made under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the Rules of Procedure, and we note they remain in force.

We remind the Permanent Council of the key elements of these statements:

The United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters.

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 co-operate with the SMM 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 SMM for their dedicated service under difficult and, at times, dangerous conditions.

We call on Ukraine, Russia, and the forces Russia arms, trains, leads, and fights alongside, to ensure that the SMM 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 implementation of the Minsk agreements.

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

Thank you, Madam Chair.