PRESS RELEASE | July 24, 2014
Today, as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Permanent Council convened, the United States, as well as other participating States, continued to mourn the shoot down of Malaysian Air flight 17 over separatist-controlled territory – a senseless tragedy in which nearly 300 innocent men, women and children lost their lives.
Compounding our grief is the man-made nature of the tragedy: it would not have happened without Russian training for violent separatists and provision of sophisticated weaponry.
The Permanent Council also adopted a decision to send a small number of observers to two posts on the Russian side of the Russia-Ukraine border.
U.S. Permanent Representative to the OSCE Ambassador, Daniel Baer, continued to express his strong disappointment with the Russian Federation’s violations. “As Russia continues to send arms across the border, almost as if to scorn the memory of those who have already perished because of Russian actions—I find it deeply disappointing that Russia was only willing to accept international observers at two small checkpoints on its border with Ukraine.”
Despite requests from a number of delegations to expand the geographic scope of the observer mission, Russia would accept only the most limited-scope mission, confined to just two posts –each of which is a few hundred meters wide on a land border nearly 2,000 kilometers in length.
“Let us be perfectly clear—this will not provide any real accounting of Russia’s massive flows of illegal arms, funding, and personnel,” Ambassador Baer stated. “Nor will this fig leaf provide an assurance to those mourning the tragedy of flight MH17 that Russia is doing anything to stop its illegal flow of arms and other support to separatists in eastern Ukraine.”
The Ambassador continued, “The attempted annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine, and Russia’s unacceptable support for violent separatists in Ukraine’s east, have isolated Russia in the international community. As President Obama has made clear: continued Russian violations will bring increased costs.”
For further information please contact:
U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Kathy Eagen, Public Affairs Counselor
Tel. (+43-1) 31339-3422 / Cell: (+43) 664 811 7639
E-mail: EagenKM@state.gov / https://osce.usmission.gov