On the Mandate for an OSCE Broad-Scope Monitor Mission to Ukraine

As delivered to the Extraordinary Preparatory Committee by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer

Vienna, March 19, 2014

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

Let me start by saying “thank you” to the Swiss Chair for attempting to concretely propose a solution to the concerns raised by the Russian Federation yesterday.  I would note that when you asked for comments on your latest proposal there was, again, only one objection in the room.  That leads us to the third instance in a week where that’s been the case, and that is deeply disappointing, particularly given the Russian Federation’s continuing statements to the public that they support and see the urgency of getting monitors on the ground, and it calls into question the sincerity of those comments.

In response to what sounds like the outstanding issue here, which is the [geographic] scope issue that [Russian delegate] has raised again, I would reply to the Russian delegate:  you said you need clarity on the scope of the mission.  It’s crystal clear — the scope is all of Ukraine.  And, I might add, it had been the desire of the Ukrainian government to request a mission that was limited in scope to a particular area of Ukraine.  The Russians came back over the weekend repeatedly and said, “No, no, we want it throughout the country.”  So now we have a text that completely aligns to Foreign Minister Lavrov’s demands.  It says in operative paragraph seven: “…throughout Ukraine…”  It says in the title “Ukraine” without discrimination or exclusion.  It says in operative paragraph two: “throughout the country.”  That is a clear delineation.

I know that Foreign Minister Lavrov has raised publicly and privately his concerns about western Ukraine.  We don’t share the same assessment of facts on the ground that Minister Lavrov continues to promote, but it is clear that, from this text as it stands, there is an answer to your [Russian] request for a concrete delineation of what is covered:  “throughout the country.”  Including, as [the Swiss Chair] you said, “north, south, east, and west.”

So it begins to call into question whether Foreign Minister Lavrov is playing a game that the poor delegation here has to carry out.  But we can’t get wrapped around the twisted logic that is being promoted.  The answer to your question is that there is a clear delineation of the geographic scope, it includes throughout the entire country, which was – we should all remember – a demand of your own government.  It has been answered, it has been answered clearly, and there is no excuse for not moving forward.