Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, OSCE and other International Organizations in Vienna

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Statement of the Czech Republic at the OSCE Special Meeting of the Permanent Council on the situation in Ukraine

Address by the Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Mr. Jakub Skalník, Vienna, March 3, 2014.

The Czech Republic fully subscribes to the EU statement. I would like to add some remarks in my national capacity.

We strongly condemn the military actions conducted by Russia in Crimea and Russian supported provocations in some regions of Eastern Ukraine. These actions constitute a flagrant violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as of the international law. It sadly reminds us of the Soviet invasion of our country in 1968 - the same scenario, only the pretext has changed: the so called "brotherly help" was replaced by "the threat to Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine". Our Foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek was in Donetsk on Friday and he did not notice anything that could even remotely pose a threat to people living there, regardless their ethnicity.

As further escalation can seriously endanger the peace not only in the region, we urge Russia to halt her military actions against sovereign Ukraine immediately, withdraw her troops and start the meaningful dialogue.

We appreciate the activities of the Swiss Chairmanship, Ambassador Tim Guldiman and autonomous institutions of the OSCE. We see as essential the presence of the Chairmanship on the entire territory of Ukraine, including in its Eastern regions and Crimea.

The Czech Republic also strongly supports the idea of international observation mission in order to establish facts on the ground in Ukraine, specifically in Crimea. In this regard, we welcome the Canadian non-paper. We are ready to contribute to such a mission with experienced personnel.