On the Meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group and Implementation of Minsk Protocol: Statement to the PC

In recent days Ambassador Tagliavini and others have been working toward achieving productive discussions in the Trilateral Contact Group of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE. They reached out to separatists, as well.

As we head into the New Year we must remain clear headed. Ukraine, Russia, the CiO, the EU, the US, Canada, Turkey, Norway and many others have stated repeatedly: the Minsk Protocol of September 5 and subsequent agreement on September 19 remain the formula for de-escalation. All efforts should be focused on accelerating the implementation in full of the Minsk Protocol.

In this regard, Russia must take steps now to implement the Minsk Protocol in letter and spirit and not try to renegotiate what was agreed – including by Russia itself — on September 5.  It must end its support for violence in eastern Ukraine and withdraw Russian weapons and fighters.  Russia must use its influence on the separatists to release all hostages, and it must release the hostages that it is holding inside of Russia, including Nadiya Savchenko and Oleg Senstov.  It must do its part to guarantee safe and unfettered access for OSCE monitors.  It must cooperate in securing and respecting the entire internationally-recognized Ukrainian-Russian border and comprehensive monitoring of that border and security zones on both sides of it by the OSCE, as agreed at Minsk, and Russia must end the illegal occupation of Crimea.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Special Permanent Council, Vienna