Mr. Chair, it’s clear that there’s more work for the Trilateral Contact Group to do. And as the only working forum that includes Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE–as well as having held a series of consultations with separatists over recent months– the trilateral contact group is the forum we have. I think we have to be very clear–and it’s one of the areas in which we have found agreement, all of us around this table, in recent weeks– that the Minsk Protocol and Agreement remain the operative framework which Russia and Ukraine have signed. And that is the framework that we need to implement. There may be room for additional pieces of paper that need the signature of both sides, for example, to accelerate the release of hostages or something like that.
I just want to emphasize–and I don’t take from our distinguished Russian colleague’s the statement that there is necessarily a divergence–I want to emphasize that we must remain committed to the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Agreement, and that future work urgently needed in the Trilateral Contact Group is to accelerate the implementation of that agreement.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna