Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba at the 29th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the OSCE

Mister Chairperson, Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the Polish Chairpersonship-in-Office for their excellent work throughout the year and for organizing this meeting.

We are grateful to the CIO for calling things by their name in the face of Russia’s genocidal war of aggression against Ukraine. This is exemplary of how the Chairpersonship has been standing as the guardian of the OSCE principles throughout the year.   

My words of appreciation also go to those participating States who offered unwavering support of my country in defending our common principles and shared values.

According to the Kremlin’s plan, it was supposed to be already the 281st day without independent Ukraine but with subjugated Ukrainian people. Without rights, freedom and future. But with thousands killed, deported and expelled.

You all have seen the horrors of this war and the question now is what makes possible the presence of the Russian nameplate at the table. Endless lies? Countless threats? Nuclear blackmail? Thousands killed? Terrible war crimes? A mockery of humanity and Helsinki Final Act? I think the only reasonable explanation is the abuse of the rule of consensus by Russia. If there are other explanations, then we have to admit that something went wrong with the OSCE who tolerates the presence of a country that defies every single principle and rule of this important institution.

The world should not turn a blind eye to all these crimes. 90 years ago, it cost millions of Ukrainians starving as a result of the artificial Holodomor implemented by the Moscow communist regime. 

Therefore, I call upon the participating States to recognize this crime as an act of genocide, since Russia, encouraged by its longstanding impunity, tries once again to exterminate the Ukrainian nation and play a hunger game with the whole world.

As the Russian leadership continues to launch missiles at Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and incite genocide on state TV, as it continues its assaults on the battlefield, we should not be fooled with appeals for talks repeated by the same people who rejected a European security dialogue initiated by the CIO last February.

Here at the OSCE, we can continue seeking ways to restore comprehensive dialogue but the real choice is different – death with Russia or life without it.

What people expect from the OSCE is not the adaptation to existing aggressive Russia but an uncompromising fight for the principles the OSCE stands for.  

For a lasting peace, the OSCE needs Ukraine’s victory and the restoration of its internationally recognized borders.

This all is a part of a 10-point peace formula suggested by President Zelenskyy. These points include:

– Radiation and nuclear safety;

– Food security;

– Energy security;

– Release of all prisoners and deported persons;

– Implementation of the UN Charter and restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the world order;

– Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities;

– Restoration of justice;

– Countering ecocide;

– Preventing escalation;

– Confirmation of the end of the war.

As Russia’s war has far-reaching consequences and negative impacts on world security far beyond Ukraine and the European continent, the Peace Formula has the potential to become a global format. Wide engagement of countries across the globe in implementation of the “Peace Formula” will allow to achieve just and sustainable peace. And both OSCE as an institution and participating States are invited to make a contribution to achieve this goal.

And last but not least. Without ensuring accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine there would be no lasting peace and security within the OSCE.  That is why a Special Tribunal to address the crime of aggression must be created.

A future trial would be important for the acknowledgement of the breach of international law and an expression of formal apology by the Russian state for committed crimes as one of the key guarantees of non-repetition of aggression. 

Time for empty compromises is over. Too many human lives were claimed by the unprovoked aggression. We have no right to give Putin any chance for his blackmailing to be successful. The responsibility is on us.

Esteemed colleagues,

I am grateful to Minister and my friend Zbigniew Rau for successfully steering the work of the Organization throughout the year. 

I wish my colleague Bujar Osmani successful and constructive work ahead as the North Macedonia takes the helm of the Organization. And I am glad to see that protection of the OSCE fundamentals will be at the heart of the incoming Chairperson-in-Office. 

We look forward to closely cooperating with our friends from the North Macedonia and all participating States towards restoring respect for the core OSCE principles and commitments.  

Thank you, Mister Chairperson.