Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian to the Permanent Council, Vienna June 14, 2018 Mr. Chair, intense fighting near the Donetsk Filtration Station led to a temporary suspension of its operations last week, jeopardizing the ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Deputy Political Counselor Darren Perdue to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 16, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The conflict in the Donbas seems to have returned to an established pattern as we enter the ...
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On Continued Reports of Arrests, Unlawful Detention, Torture, and Killing of Gay Men by the Chechen Government

The Human Rights Watch report, which appears to us to be well documented and to rely on independent sources in Chechnya, gives a timeline of events, provides multiple victims’ accounts of the violence perpetrated against them, and offers recommendations to Russian authorities, foreign governments, and international bodies.
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Commitments by Russia in Ukraine

Within 30 meters of a hospital, there was a shell crater four meters in diameter and two meters deep, assessed to have been fired from a 152mm artillery piece located in “separatist”-controlled territory. Because a shell of this size will generally kill anything within 50 meters of impact, it caused extensive damage to the hospital.
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Responses to the Russian Federation Statement on Privacy Concerns

National security matters are an issue of public debate in the United States, a debate which involves civil society, human rights activists, the media, journalists, bloggers, comedians, and any number of other individuals and organizations, all of which are free to express themselves, organize, associate, and peacefully assemble to make their views heard.
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Response to Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shaken the very foundations of security and stability in Europe, and is antithetical to a vision of Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. The United States affirms its staunch support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles by Russia

Only a visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement in the security situation will allow progress on the Minsk agreements, starting with a real and sustainable ceasefire, disengagement of forces, and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Yet Russia continues a pattern of behavior that undermines disengagement.
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Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation

Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation’s claim that ODIHR’s determination regarding how to observe the French elections is another example of an “unbalanced” approach by ODIHR is unjustified and ...
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Russia’s Continued Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

We urge Russia to respect the human right of all to exercise the fundamental freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief-- including the right to profess and practice one’s religion alone or in community with others -- in accordance with its OSCE commitments and international obligations.
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On Continued Reports of Arrests, Unlawful Detention, Torture, and Killing of Gay Men by the Chechen Government

The United States continues to be disturbed by reports of arrests, unlawful detention, torture, and killings of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation, as well as those subjected to abuse by association. These violations and abuses of human rights cannot be ignored.
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Remarks by Secretary of State Tillerson to NATO-Ukraine Commission

The OSCE must be able to fulfill its mandate which included monitoring throughout the conflict zone and to the international border. And Russia must understand there is no basis to move forward on the political aspects of the Minsk agreements until there is visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement in the security situation.
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Russia’s Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

Mr. Chair, colleagues, let me be clear – the threat to our region from violent extremism and terrorism is real. However, the prosecution of members of peaceful religious minority groups for “extremism” serves only to distract from and undermine our mutual efforts to combat true violent threats.
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Restrictions on the Freedoms of Expression, Association and Peaceful Assembly in the Russian Federation

The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine

The surge in violence in eastern Ukraine provides yet another stark reminder of Russia’s ongoing aggression against its neighbor, a conflict Russia initiated and sustains. Over the course of the past week, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) counted the highest number of explosions by proscribed heavy weapons during the past year, with ...
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Commitments by Russia in Ukraine

Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine continues to cost lives every day. More than a million people remain displaced by fighting. The humanitarian crisis has worsened, as shelling periodically cuts off water and power to people living in the Donbas. The economy has been severely damaged. And OSCE monitors continue to face restrictions, harassment, and aggression.
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Ambassador Haley’s Remarks to the UN Security Council on Conflicts in Europe

The OSCE is playing a crucial role observing and monitoring the situation in eastern Ukraine. U.S. bonds with NATO and the OSCE have stood the test of time. These are institutions that bring together partners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to defend our shared ideals.
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Reply to the Russian Federation on Ukraine

In regards to the question from the Russian delegation about the U.S. position with respect to the recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, it is the assessment of the United States that these are combined Russian-separatist forces and that Russia continues to provide the materiel, financial, and other direct support that fuels the conflict ...
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

This conflict will remain volatile until weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements are withdrawn, and the framework decisions on disengagement and demining are fully implemented. Otherwise, there is little to stop small-scale clashes from escalating, and this conflict from continuing.
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Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia | Statement to the PC

Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia  |  Statement to the PC As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna January 19, 2017 The United States is concerned about the December 28 decision by Chechnya’s Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of Zhalaudi Geriev, a local independent ...
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On the Russian-Separatist Forces’ Offensive near Svitlodarsk, Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the offensive launched by combined Russian-separatist forces on Sunday, December 18, in what appears to have been a failed attempt to seize territory in strategic areas outside the town of Svitlodarsk, which is located near separatist-held Debaltseve. This brazen violation of the Minsk agreements is an issue ...
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TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable  December 15, 2016  Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria  AMBASSADOR BAER:  Thanks everyone.  I know that this is supposed to be a conversation that is forward looking and that is looking specifically at the Austrian Chairmanship taking over next year, but in order to have some idea ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Russia’s Ongoing Violations of Ukraine’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity | Statement to the PC

I wanted to respond, not really directly to our distinguished Russian colleague, but rather, to point out to the rest of my distinguished colleagues around this table – just picking up on that last point that we heard from the Russian delegation this morning: that all those who are interested in dialogue need to accept ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.  Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to sustain the violence in eastern Ukraine, with hundreds of explosions registered daily and proscribed heavy weapons used, including multiple launch rocket systems. Despite overwhelming evidence that Russia arms, trains, and fights alongside so-called “separatists,” Moscow continues to deny involvement. On December 9, fighters in the separatist-held ...
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Ambassador Baer’s Interview with Gazeta.ru

One of the things that gets misunderstood is that while it is true that it is difficult to reach consensus today in the OSCE, on most things, there is agreement by at least 55 or 56 States. It is usually one or two holdouts. When it’s one, it’s usually the Russian Federation. And when it’s ...
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On the Conflict in Georgia | Joint Statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia to the 2016 OSCE Ministerial Council

We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We underline the need for a peaceful resolution over the conflict in Georgia, based on full respect of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law. We call upon the Russian Federation to fully implement ...
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Secretary of State John Kerry at the Opening Session of the OSCE Ministerial | Statement to the 2016 Ministerial Council

Friends and colleagues, we meet in Hamburg today to reaffirm the same idea that tied us together in Helsinki 41 years ago: that our collective security is directly linked to the growth of our economies and the protection of basic human rights.
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Response to OSCE’s Chief Monitor in Ukraine, Ambassador Apakan, and the CiO’s Special Representative, Ambassador Sajdik

The United States welcomes Ambassadors Apakan and Sajdik back to the Permanent Council. Ambassadors, we thank you for your report, and for your tireless efforts to see the Minsk agreements implemented in full. Ambassador Apakan, please convey our gratitude to your monitors and staff who serve in difficult and at times dangerous conditions. This week, ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Response to Report by RFoM Dunja Mijatović | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Allow me to make a response to the comments just made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, our distinguished Russian colleague said that not a word was said about concerns about journalists in the United States. That is simply false. In fact, my statement started today in recounting an exchange that ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The situation continues to deteriorate in eastern Ukraine. In mid-November ceasefire violations reached their highest levels since the establishment of the Special Monitoring Mission in 2014. Furthermore, the SMM recorded last week the highest-ever number of violations from heavy weapons, including multiple launch rocket systems. Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to be responsible for the majority ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

For the second week in a row, ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine reached as many as three thousand incidents in a single day.That is on par with the high levels of violence in April and July. Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to be responsible for provoking the majority of attacks. In addition, the Special Monitoring Mission ...
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Replies to Russia on the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Border Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk | Statement to the PC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I, too, was disappointed with the statement from the Russian delegation today. Colleagues, I think it’s important — I’d just like to remind of one quote from our Russian colleague today — that some of us around the table point to “an external boogie man who can be blamed ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova

The United States warmly welcomes you, Ambassador Scanlan, to the Permanent Council. We thank you for another comprehensive report on the work of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, and on the resumption of talks in the framework of the 5+2 Settlement Process on the Transnistrian Conflict. Your straightforward assessment of the situation and insightful perspectives ...
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Continued Efforts to Silence and Intimidate Independent Voices and Civil Society in Russia | Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply troubled by reports that Ildar Dadin, a Russian activist who is serving a two-and-a-half-year prison term, has been subjected to threats, mistreatment, and torture in prison. Last week, in a letter he wrote and smuggled out of prison, he reported shocking conditions and widespread mistreatment of prisoners, including himself. Mr. ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States remains deeply concerned by the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The ceasefire appears to be unraveling, and violence has reached peak levels not seen since August 2015. To safeguard civilian lives, all parties must act now to secure a real and comprehensive ceasefire and complete disengagement. Steps must be taken to improve the ...
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Reply to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I, too, wanted to respond to some of the comments made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, to remind all colleagues around this table about SMM reporting, which we value highly and study closely. For many months now, SMM reporting — obviously, as folks know, the SMM can only report things ...
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On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

My delegation strongly supports the statement of our European Union colleagues marking the United Nations-declared International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. To do its job, a free press needs protection from violence and intimidation. In too many places around the world, those who threaten, kidnap, beat, and kill journalists do so with ...
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Reply to Russia on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

I’d like to reserve my right to reply more fully to the list of cases raised by our distinguished Russian colleague, but I would like to say today that my delegation is happy to follow-up on any cases that our distinguished Russian colleague or others want to raise in good faith with us. And we ...
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Replies to the Russian Federation, U.K. and CiO on Media Freedom in the U.K. | Statement to PC

Our distinguished Russian colleague had in his initial statement said that some of the – I think the term used was “Western partners” – had not expressed opinions about this case. That is true, that we haven’t expressed concern about this case. And I thank our British colleague for answering a number of the questions ...
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Reply to Russia on Ongoing Concerns About Russia’s ‘Foreign Agents’ Law | Statement to the PC

I thank the distinguished Russian colleague for his response, regardless of my wishing that he would commit to the reconsideration of a law that is inconsistent with international law and Russia’s commitments. The reference to U.S. law reminded me of one of the commitments that my delegation made at HDIM this year, which was that – because ...
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Response to Peter Maurer, International Committee of the Red Cross President | Statement to the PC

I would like to start by expressing our sincere gratitude to President Maurer for his remarks and thoughtful recommendations on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross. We first met in Washington several years ago in our previous capacities. It has been a real pleasure to see you and your success in your ...
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On the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia | Statement to the PC

Russia’s holding of elections to the Russian Duma in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is inconsistent with Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and contrary to the commitments made by the Russian Federation in the August 12, 2008, six-point ceasefire agreement.
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The current effort toward disengagement provides a window of opportunity to put in place a lasting ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, as Ambassadors Sajdik and Apakan told the Permanent Council last week. While we recognize signs of progress on disengagement – such as the withdrawal of forces on both sides of the contact line at Petrivske ...
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Response to the Report by the Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center | Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Peško back to the Permanent Council, and thanks him for his report. At the outset, let me commend the dedicated and talented staff members of the Conflict Prevention Center (CPC) and their work to support the OSCE’s response to our shared security challenges – in particular, Russian aggression against Ukraine. ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassadors Apakan and Sajdik back to the Permanent Council and thanks them for their efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We must take this opportunity to build on the September 1 ceasefire re-commitment and the Framework Decision on Disengagement, effective September 21. From September 19 to 25, Ukraine ...
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Right of Reply at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

The Russian Federation made yet another effort to blame Ukraine for the Russian Federation’s military intervention in that country.  The absurdity of this claim is matched only by the Russian Delegation’s claim that the Munich agreement was responsible for WWII and in effect that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to military divide our host country and other ...
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Closing Remarks | Statement at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

As the 2016 HDIM draws to a close, my delegation wishes to share some observations that will shape our approach to the OSCE Ministerial in Hamburg. First: Helsinki Final Act Principles linking respect for human rights within states to lasting security among states could not be more relevant. These foundational principles are under siege and ...
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Some OSCE Governments Are Revealing Their Weakness

No confident government would be frightened by a human rights defender. So what do crackdowns on activists by certain OSCE governments tell us? At the 2016 HDIM, taking place now in Warsaw , we’ve been speaking out against what we call the ‘shrinking space’ for civil society in many parts of the OSCE region. Civil society activists perform a vital role in ...
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Roma and Sinti Issues | Statement at Working Session 15 of the 2016 HDIM

Two weeks ago, ODIHR and the German chairmanship organized a conference on the role of political leaders in countering discrimination, racism, and bias-motivated crimes against Roma. This conference built on an excellent side event convened during last year’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. We commend Germany and ODIHR for continuing to focus on this problem as ...
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Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Women and Men | Statement at Working Session 14 of HDIM 2016

Equal opportunity for women and men in all spheres of life is critical to building resilient, democratic societies; supporting open and accountable governance; ending extreme poverty; furthering international peace and security; growing vibrant market economies; and addressing pressing health and education challenges. One of the biggest threats to reaching these goals is gender-based violence. As ...
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Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe | Remarks at the Fifth Review Conference

I would like to express my great appreciation to the Chair, Norway, and the CFE Treaty Depositary, the Netherlands, for their organization of this conference. Five years ago at the 2011 CFE Review Conference, the United States reiterated its commitment to multilateral conventional arms control as a means to provide military transparency and increase security ...
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Freedom of Movement | Statement at Working Session 13 of HDIM 2016

In Vienna in 1989, all participating States committed to, “respect the right of everyone to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State, and to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” This right is still not fully respected in all participating States. Let me make it ...
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Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief | Statement at Working Session 12 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of religion or belief is a founding principle of the Helsinki Process. Unfortunately, a small number of participating States engage in consistent, systematic violations and abuses of the freedom of religion or belief.
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Tolerance and Non-Discrimination | Statement at Working Session 10 of HDIM 2016

Respect for the rights of persons belonging to national minorities is a cornerstone of the Helsinki Final Act. We underscore the importance of maintaining the independence of the High Commissioner on National Minorities and ODIHR.
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Trafficking in Human Beings | Statement at Working Session 7 of HDIM 2016

The United States offers its continued support in the effort to save lives and protect those who are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, including migrants and refugees. Europol has reported that known smuggling and human trafficking gangs are working together to exploit migrant vulnerabilities. This is particularly concerning given the influx last year of 90,000 ...
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Statement at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

In establishing the Representative on Freedom of the Media in 1997, the OSCE participating States recognized that “free, independent, and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and accountable systems of government.”
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Statement at Working Session 5 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of association is necessary for the fullest exercise of the freedoms of expression and of religion or belief, and for the conduct of free and fair elections. It is a cornerstone for the rights of persons seeking to form independent trade unions.
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Right of Reply at Working Session 4 of HDIM 2016

We would like to exercise our right of reply in response to the Russian Federation. At the outset we would note that the Russian Federation failed to identify a single concrete action it is taking to promote either the civil, political or economic, social and cultural rights of its people. We explained why we have ...
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Democratic Institutions | Statement at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

Elections are an essential element of democracy and a cornerstone of democratic institutions. The U.S. greatly appreciates the OSCE’s invaluable role in election observation – indeed, this organization has developed what is known as the “gold standard” for its methodology on evaluating elections.
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On the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances | Statement to the PC

On August 30, we marked the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The United States stands in solidarity with the men and women around the world whose own governments have abducted them and detained them in secret. In too many countries, repressive regimes confronted by citizens trying to hold their leaders accountable will ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

As we mark two years after the September 5 Minsk Protocol of 2014, and soon the September 19, 2014 Minsk Memorandum, we must pause and reiterate the urgency of pursuing peace and the full implementation of those documents. The people of Ukraine deserve peace. The September 1 school-year ceasefire recommitment is an important opportunity to ...
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Ongoing Concerns About Freedom of Association in Russia | Statement to the PC

Colleagues, twenty years ago in Copenhagen, our governments committed to “ensure that individuals are permitted to exercise the right to association, including the right to form, join, and participate effectively in non-governmental organizations which seek the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including trade unions and human rights monitoring groups.” Mindful of ...
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Reply to Russia on Russia’s ongoing violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

I’d just like to take the opportunity to respond to a couple of the statements made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, there is no parallel reality. Many of us – I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing our distinguished Russian colleague there last week in Potsdam – but many of us were present in ...
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Reply to Russia on International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances | Statement to the PC

I’d like to respond to the statement by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, a technical point: the distinguished Russian colleague is within his rights within this forum to raise whatever issues he wants to; under the topic of enforced disappearances, I don’t think that he raised anything that applies to my country. Enforced disappearances are ...
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Replies to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. Just to respond to the statement of our distinguished Russian colleague — who just responded to my statement and said that he disagreed with what he claimed I said– He claimed I said that all restrictions on the SMM are the result of the Russia-backed separatists. I did not ...
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Right of Reply to the Holy See and Russia on Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict | Statement to the PC

First, to our colleague from the Holy See — I wanted to reassure our colleague at the Holy See that, indeed, through what has now been years of negotiations in which the Holy See has played a very active role on the Addendum on the Gender Action Plan, that there is no secret agenda there ...
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On Legislation Restricting Fundamental Freedoms in Russia | Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned by the Russian Federation’s recent adoption of amendments to its antiterrorism law, which President Putin signed on July 7. The amendments include a number of provisions, which place greater restrictions on the exercise of the rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion. Civil society actors and members ...
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Response to Sebastian Kurz, Foreign Minister of Austria | Statement to the PC

Minister Kurz, the United States welcomes you to the Permanent Council, and offers its sincere thanks to Austria for taking on the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2017. When the current Chairman-in-Office, Minister Steinmeier, appeared at the Permanent Council in January, we noted that Germany was assuming the Chairmanship at a time when Europe faced ...
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Right of Reply to Russia on Freedom of Association Concerns in Russia | Statement to the PC

Thank you to our distinguished Russian colleague for his comments. I just wanted to clarify that the statement from my delegation was not a request for special treatment of any individuals under the law, it was an expression of concern that, as you said yourself, we have several times made clear that we see the ...
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Reply to Russia on the Renewal of the Russia-Ukraine Border Checkpoint Observation Mission | Statement to the PC

Since the distinguished Russian ambassador made a statement that directly contradicts or responded to an element in the statement by my delegation, I just wanted to clarify that the part of the Minsk Protocol – since the distinguished Russian ambassador said that the Minsk Protocol of September 2014 in no way mentions monitoring of the ...
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Right of Reply to Russia and the CSTO at Working Session IV | Statement at the 2016 ASRC

I wanted to reply to the request from the CSTO for a speaking role at ministerials, and to just emphasize that there is a long-standing practice that organizations that both have a founding philosophy and approach that overlaps with that of the OSCE, as well as have over a third or 40 per cent of ...
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Conventional Arms Control and CSBMS: Problems and Prospects | Statement at the 2016 ASRC

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: thank you for the opportunity to contribute to a discussion of Conventional Arms Control and Confidence­ and Security­ Building Measures (CSBMs) at this year’s Annual Security Review Conference. This is an important topic that deserves thoughtful reflection and an honest exchange of views, particularly at this time of great ...
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Reply to Russia on the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Nazi Germany’s Invasion of the Soviet Union | Statement to the PC

I just wanted to respond to our distinguished Russian colleague who said that he was surprised that we looked at this issue through a present perspective. I heard a number of statements that both reflected on the historical perspective and the present perspective, including the statement by the Russian Federation which went on at some ...
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Response to Russia on the Geneva Discussions | Statement to the PC

Colleagues, I’d just like to call attention once again, since this has been a pattern, to the statement just made by our distinguished Russian colleague. When we see the continued denial of the reality of the situation that Russia is occupying territory that belongs to neighboring countries – and that’s countries plural, obviously – it ...
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Response on Freedom of Expression in Russia, as raised by the European Union | Statement to the PC

The United States would like to align itself with the statement made by the European Union, and we reiterate the importance of protecting freedom of expression online and off, consistent with our OSCE commitments. EU Statement on New Legislation restricting freedom of expression and access to information in Russia 1. On June 10, the Russian ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States strongly condemns the attack that occurred yesterday on the government-controlled town of Vodiane, where mortar fire hit the town while SMM monitors were carrying out a patrol. The attack put civilians and SMM monitors at grave risk. This gross violation of the Minsk agreements is completely unacceptable, and those responsible must be held ...
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Right of Reply to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

I’ve appreciated listening to the discussion this morning, and in particular the exchange we just heard between our distinguished Russian colleague and our distinguished Ukrainian colleague – and the rest of us, because we’re all part of this conversation. I agree with our distinguished Russian colleague that, ideally, what we should aim for is that ...
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On the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia | Statement to the PC

At the thirty-sixth round of the Geneva International Discussions on the conflict in Georgia on June 14-15, the United States welcomed the resumption of the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), which met for the first time in over four years on May 27 to address the fatal shooting of a Georgian civilian along ...
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On the Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints at Gukovo and Donetsk: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes Colonel Flavien Schaller to the Permanent Council, and thanks him for his informative report on the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints of Gukovo and Donetsk. Colonel Schaller, we also wish to express our appreciation for your own and your team’s work in difficult and restrictive conditions. The United ...
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Response to Russia on the Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints at Gukovo and Donetsk: Statement to the PC

I’d like to respond to some of the comments made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, the repeated claim that observation of the international border between Russia and Ukraine is only possible because of a goodwill gesture of the Russian Federation: our Ukrainian colleague has just recalled the sequence of events, and the fact that ...
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Right of Replies to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

Our distinguished colleague raised a couple of points from the previous item on our agenda, and I wanted to respond here. First, with respect to the citation of President Putin’s words in the TV news conference, where he said that Russia had been engaged in the “military sphere,” I will go back and look at ...
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Right of Reply to the Russian Federation on the U.S. migration record: Statement to the PC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I reserve my right to come back to this topic at a later time, but allow me to make some brief initial remarks today. Just to begin, colleagues, I’d like to point out, that this seems to be the recurrence of a pattern, whereby whenever concerns are raised in ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

As the Secretary General warned last week, the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine is being subjected to a “deliberate effort to blind it.”  Within a single week, combined Russian-separatist forces shot down the SMM’s two long-range UAVs near Horlivka, and threatened to shoot down a mini-UAV sent by the SMM to search for wreckage of ...
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On the Harassment and Intimidation of Political Opposition in Russia: Statement to the PC

Russia today is a place where independent civil society is under siege and peaceful dissent can be dangerous. We are concerned about a pattern of harassment and attacks against members of the peaceful political opposition in Russia. On May 17, a group of approximately 30 men attacked Alexei Navalny, an opposition politician, and his fellow ...
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Reply to Russia on Harassment and Intimidation of the Political Opposition in Russia: Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just have a couple of quick comments. One, in answer to our distinguished Russian colleague’s question about my use of the term “violence.” Just to be clear: the definition that we would use for violence is any kind of physical attack, and I am very surprised to hear that the ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. Combined Russian-separatist forces have stepped up the violence, fired banned heavy weapons from civilian areas, and have continued to obstruct the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, including threatening monitors, shooting down an SMM UAV, and disabling ...
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Response to the Report by OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors: Statement to the PC

High Commissioner Thors, the United States welcomes you back to the Permanent Council after an especially busy and productive period.  Your report today and the country visits you have made in the past six months demonstrate a commitment to carry out your work wherever needed. The United States very much values your engagement throughout the ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

Despite efforts to build on the Easter ceasefire recommitment and create a better security environment, this week began with the highest casualties incurred since August of last year. The security zone in eastern Ukraine continues to be defined by tension and instability, as Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug said this week. ...
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On the Return of Nadiya Savchenko to Ukraine: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes Nadiya Savchenko’s release and return to Ukraine. Nearly two years ago, she was abducted in eastern Ukraine and smuggled against her will into Russia. Ms. Savchenko endured relentless interrogations, solitary confinement, and forced “psychiatric evaluation.”  Through it all, she remained steadfast, resilient, and loyal to her country. The return of ...
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Replies to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

Reply 1: I appreciate the question from our distinguished Russian colleague and I think it gets right to the heart of Russia’s fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. Our distinguished Russian colleague has the unfortunate responsibility to represent a regime, an authoritarian regime, that has invaded a neighboring state. That is totally different from invited assistance ...
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Reply to Russia on Ongoing Violations by the Russian Federation in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

Just to respond to our distinguished Russian colleague: the Current Issue item under which we spoke this week, as it has been for many weeks now, was about Russia’s contraventions of its OSCE commitments with respect to its violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The issue that you raised about the ...
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On Russia’s Announced “Agreement on the State Border” with South Ossetia: Statement to the PC

Along with every participating State except Russia, and the overwhelming majority of the international community, the United States supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.  We do not accept the validity of any agreements between the Russian Federation and the de facto authorities in Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes the announcement of the renewed ceasefire in recognition of Orthodox Easter.  While fighting has diminished, combined Russian-separatist forces continue attacks on Ukrainian positions, which have resulted in several Ukrainian casualties since the ceasefire went into effect.  The Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) also reports the presence of considerable numbers of ...
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Response to the OSCE Chief Monitor and the OSCE CiO’s Special Rep in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Ambassadors Sajdik and Apakan, we warmly welcome you back to the Permanent Council. Ambassador Apakan, you asked for our continued strong support, and let me assure you that you have it. Thank you both for your reports which underscore the serious deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine since you last appeared here three months ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

At the outset, let me recognize the service of Arseniy Yatsenyuk as Ukraine’s Prime Minister and acknowledge his stewardship of his country, especially during the tumultuous weeks after former President Yanukovych fled the country, which culminated in free, fair, and democratic presidential elections. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk helped pass ambitious reforms, which moved Ukraine closer to ...
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Response to Russia on Certain Russian Citizens In Prison in the U.S.: Statement to the PC

The United States mission received the Russian-language version of this statement yesterday evening, and haven’t had time to fully consider it, and so I’d like to reserve the right to respond to Russia’s allegations in a future Permanent Council meeting. But I want to take this opportunity to clarify a few facts and to draw ...
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Reply to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

I just want to respond to a few points made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First of all, his statement that “responsibility lies entirely with the Ukrainian forces” for the deterioration on the ground is false.  That statement is not borne out by the SMM reports, or by plenty of open source reporting, so I ...
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Response to Chief of the Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints of Gukovo and Donetsk: Statement to the PC

Mr. Eugster, the United States warmly welcomes you for your final visit to the Permanent Council as Chief Observer of the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints of Gukovo and Donetsk.  We thank you for your service, and wish to express our appreciation for the work of all of the mission’s observers, which occurs ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

We have entered a dangerous new phase of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Two weeks ago, the Permanent Council was alerted to the fact that ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine reached their highest levels since August 2015. The following week, they doubled. This week, they doubled again. In February alone, OSCE monitors reported 15,000 ceasefire ...
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On the Abduction, Detention, and Sentencing of Ukrainian Citizens by Russia: Statement to the PC

The United States once again calls on Russia to release immediately all Ukrainian detainees held in Russia for political reasons. We remain especially concerned about Nadiya Savchenko, and we urge the Russian Federation to immediately drop all charges and release her. The facts of Ms. Savchenko’s detention and trial are well-known. In the 20 months ...
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On Fundamental Freedoms in Russia: Statement to the PC

The United States remains concerned about growing intolerance of dissent and independent voices in the Russian Federation, including increasing restrictions imposed on civil society by the Russian government. The United States is deeply troubled by the Russian Government’s March 10 decision to designate the National Democratic Institute (NDI) as a so-called “undesirable” foreign organization. We ...
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On the Detention of Nadiya Savchenko by Russia: Statement to the PC

The United States calls on Russia once again to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko and drop all charges against her. Ms. Savchenko has been unjustly imprisoned in Russia since 2014 – detained and facing trial on trumped up charges. Ms. Savchenko was proudly serving her country as a member of the Ukrainian armed forces, fighting in ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

Russia and the separatists continue to initiate attacks along the contact line in eastern Ukraine, keeping the situation dangerous and highly volatile. Continued provocations by combined Russian-separatist forces place Ukrainian soldiers, civilians, and members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) at great risk. The explosion of an 82mm mortar shell 60 meters away from ...
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