Amb. Gilmore Welcomes OSCE Work in Ukraine, Calls out Russia on Ongoing Violations

Ambassador Gilmore. Credit: USOSCE/ Gower

“Sanctions against Russia will remain in place until it implements fully its Minsk commitments. To do otherwise opens the door once again to a European future based on war and conflict,” says Ambassador Gilmore on Russia’s Ongoing Aggression Against OSCE Participating States at September 5 Permanent Council

PRESS RELEASE | September 6, 2019

Russia – and its ongoing aggression against fellow OSCE participating States that violates nearly every element of the Helsinki Final Act – dominated Ambassador James S. Gilmore III’s statements during his second appearance before the Organization’s Permanent Council on September 5.

Welcoming Trilateral Contact Group head Ambassador Sajdik and Ukraine Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) head Ambassador Cevik to the Council and praising their efforts to bring a lasting resolution to the conflict that Russia fomented and stokes, Gilmore asserted that “ensuring the safety and security of SMM monitors must be a priority for all participating States.” Further, Russia must stop blocking access of SMM monitors to Crimea – an indisputable part of Ukraine. The Ambassador criticized worsening human rights conditions in Crimea, particularly of the Tatar population (like Tatar journalist Gulsum Khalilova, and Tatar activists Dilyaver Gafarov and Edem Bekirov), and called on Moscow to release them and other Ukrainians wrongfully imprisoned. Read the full statement here:

Turning to municipal elections planned for Moscow and St. Petersburg on September 8, Gilmore condemned a recent round of politically motivated detentions by Russian authorities. Truly democratic elections require an environment conducive to the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, he argued, and long before voters cast their ballots, they must be able to debate openly, associate freely, forge coalitions, and peacefully assemble. The Ambassador called on Russian authorities to release all persons still detained for exercising their fundamental rights, investigate instances of excessive force employed by security personnel, and conduct the municipal elections in line with Russia’s related OSCE commitments. Read the full statement here:

Russian aggression against neighboring, democratic Georgia also featured prominently in Gilmore’s statements. The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, he assured. Russia-backed “borderization” of Georgian territories it and its proxies occupy harms civilians residing in the area by separating them from their farms, families and livelihoods, and is another flagrant violation of the Helsinki Final Act. The Ambassador once more called on Russia to suspend its occupation, withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, and allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in line with its own 2008 commitments. Read the full statement available here:

Ambassador Gilmore’s biography:


For further information please contact:

U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Elaine A. Paplos, Counselor for Public Affairs
Email: PaplosEA[at]