Reply to Russia (2) on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

OSCE emblem at the entrance to the Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

Thank you, Mr. Chair, just very briefly, our distinguished Russian colleague is correct that I did not read the entirety of Secretary Kerry’s remarks at Munich. I commend them to all of you. And as Secretary Kerry and many others have done many times, on behalf of my government, we have called for Russia and Ukraine to both fully implement Minsk Agreements and nothing that I have said today is in contrast with that. It remains our aim to identify practical steps that can be taken on the ground to facilitate the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

The second point that I’d like to make, our distinguished Russian colleague has given me the occasion to make a point about dialogue. I, too, welcome the opportunity for dialogue in this forum. And I don’t know if our distinguished Russian colleague was implying that what is going on here today is not dialogue, but certainly my definition of dialogue is for people to respond to what others have said on behalf of their governments.

And so what I think is that what is going on here today is actually an example of dialogue. And sometimes it sounds like certain colleagues think that dialogue must always be an expression of agreement. Actually, it is as important – if not more so, if we aspire to genuine agreement– to have a genuine dialogue about the areas where we disagree.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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