KYIV – “Emphasizing the importance of upholding the fundamental principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, I would like to remind you of the illegal occupation of Ukrainian Crimea. We need greater OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] involvement in this issue,” Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran said during the online meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation on July 22.
The Ukrainian minister expressed his belief that Crimea-related sanctions “must stay in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.”
Mr. Taran also stressed that the security situation in the Donbas, near Ukraine’s borders, in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov “remains tense and is characterized by ongoing unprecedented militarization, occupation of the sovereign territories of Ukraine and Georgia, and obstruction of freedom of navigation.”
“We believe that greater OSCE attention and involvement in these processes is needed. Improved monitoring of the situation by the SMM [Special Monitoring Mission] is important to provide an impartial picture, even to a limited extent due to the constant restrictions on freedom of movement,” Ukraine’s defense minister said.