5 August 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mrs Béatrice Le Fraper, first councellor of France to the United Nations
I would like to thank Mr. John Ging from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for his briefing. He has told us that the humanitarian situation is worsening and he has described how the Ukrainian authorities are dealing with that situation with the support of the international community.
The number of internally displaced persons is increasing, as pointed out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Why is that the case? It is because people are fleeing the fighting precipitated by the separatists, who have refused to accept the hand extended by President Poroshenko. It is because people are fleeing separatist attacks in the areas they control — attacks that are becoming deadlier every day.
The report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that the Security Council will consider in the near future is very eloquent in that regard. In fact, no report mentions instances of people fleeing cities in which Ukrainian armed forces have restored public order and the rule of law. Wherever Kyiv has re-established its authority, public services and basic services have been restored to the population. According to statements by UNHCR, the return of the internally displaced persons to areas now controlled by the Government serves to clearly indicate that the separatists were the main cause of the displacement.
The worsening humanitarian situation is also a result of the presence of armed combatants coming from outside of Ukraine. The question of external support with regard to recruitment, the provision of equipment and training is increasingly urgent and requires the attention of the international community. Those who arm the criminals who are terrorizing the population are responsible for the worsening humanitarian situation.
All those events demonstrate the pressing need for international cooperation in order to stabilize the situation in Ukraine and ensure its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call for a sincere commitment by the Russian Federation, which has so far been lacking. Despite the number of appeals made to President Putin, we regret the fact that the Russian Federation has not put pressure on the separatists in order to bring them to the negotiating table and has not taken the expected concrete measures in order to ensure control of the Russian/Ukrainian border.
We are also extremely vigilant with regard to any direct military support that the Russian Federation could give to the separatists in the fighting. In that context, new measures against the Russian Federation were taken by the European Union, but also by a number of its partners — including the United States and, later, Japan and Switzerland. That step shows that there is unanimity in the international community in condemning the lack of coordination by the Russian Federation. The message is clear: the fleeing must end.
The Russian Federation can choose to de-escalate the situation.
The tightening of sanctions has only one goal, that is, to facilitate the emergence of a political solution. Our priority continues to be, first of all, to put an end to the escalation and to establish a lasting ceasefire among all parties. We call upon the Russian Federation to involve itself in a constructive way in that endeavour and to use its influence with the armed groups to convince them to put down their arms and engage in dialogue.