Reply to Russia’s Response to Ukraine on Media Freedom in the Russian Federation | Statement to the PC

A TV camera positioned in front of a backdrop with OSCE logos prior to a news conference at the Hofburg in Vienna. (OSCE, Mikhail Evstafiev)

Given past statements made by the Russian delegation in this room, I can only assume that the distinguished representative of the Russian Federation is making his snide remarks about sponsors with reference to several of us around this table.

I think it is important to back up and recognize that what happened in Ukraine three years ago, starting three years ago this week – and culminating in President Yanukovych fleeing to his Russian sponsors in Moscow – was a popular revolution of dignity, where the people of Ukraine decided that they no longer wanted to live in a Russian-style kleptocracy. Where they wanted institutions that served the people rather than the sponsors of the leaders.

And if anyone has done something to sever the relationship between the people of Russia and the people of Ukraine, it’s Vladimir Putin, who invaded his neighbor and illegally attempted to annex part of its territory. It’s President Putin who has severed the bonds between the people of Ukraine and Russia. And the people of Ukraine want to build a strong democratic future, and that is something that we should all believe in and that we should all be supporters of.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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