We expect Russia immediately to stop fueling the conflict
EU6 Statement to the Press
16 July 2019
I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the five EU Members of the Security Council (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the UK), joined today by Estonia as an incoming EU Member of the Security Council.
We as Member States of the European Union fully support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, and condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
We call on Russia unconditionally to release all 24 naval servicemen, illegally detained since the 25 November Kerch Strait incident, and to return the captured Ukrainian vessels immediately in accordance with the binding order of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea of 25 May. We further call on Russia to restore free and unhindered navigation in the Sea of Azov.
We expect Russia immediately to stop fueling the conflict, and to refrain from actions which jeopardise the implementation of the Minsk agreements and which impede the full restoration of Ukrainian government control over those areas as prescribed in the agreements. In particular, Russia must end its financial and military support to the separatists and stop issuing passports to Ukrainian citizens in the Donbas region.
We condemn the unacceptable attack on a medical vehicle of Ukraine’s Joint Forces near the village of Vodiane on the 1 July, resulting in three casualties. We further condemn any attempts to harass, intimidate or impede the work of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), in particular a recent incident where monitors came under fire.
We call on all parties to fully implement their commitments under the Minsk agreements, beginning with a comprehensive, durable and lasting ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weaponry, and to engage constructively in the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group. We are encouraged by the constructive participation of both Ukraine and Russia in a meeting of political advisers in the Normandy Format in Paris on 12 July, as well as the successful disengagement from Stanytsia Luhanska in late June.
We insist that the Security Council must remain seized of the matter, given the situation in Ukraine is an issue of international concern.
Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the shooting down of flight MH17, which resulted in the tragic deaths of the 298 people on board. The family and friends of those who died deserve justice. We call on all states, in particular the Russian Federation, to fully cooperate with the Joint Investigative Team and the criminal proceedings in the Netherlands to establish accountability for the downing of flight MH17, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166.