March 25, 2016

OSCE: Russia’s annexation of Crimea violated fundamental OSCE principles


BERLIN – On the second anniversary of the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimean peninsula (March 18, 2014), which under international law is part of Ukraine, Special Representative of the German Government for the OSCE Chairmanship Gernot Erler said: “Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula two years ago today was contrary to international law and infringed fundamental OSCE principles, in particular the inviolability of international borders and respect for the sovereignty of all states.”

The representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) stressed that the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the conflict in eastern Ukraine jeopardize security and stability in the OSCE area. “Our demands that Ukraine’s full sovereignty and territorial integrity be restored thus remain unchanged. Human rights and fundamental freedoms, the protection of national minorities and the independence of the organizations representing their interests must continue to be guaranteed throughout the entire territory of Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Erler emphasized that implementation of the Minsk agreements is at present still the most urgent step towards achieving a lasting solution to the conflict in and around Ukraine. “Today I call on Russia in particular to fulfill its corresponding obligations and to respect international law,” said Mr. Erler.