In Minsk, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has considered two resolutions that refer to Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine, the illegal occupation of part of Ukraine’s territory both in the Crimea and in Donbas. Following a speech of a Russian MP, who has traditionally stated that there are no Russian troops in the East of Ukraine, that Russia is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine, but participates in the Minsk deals because it worries about the rights and freedoms in Donbas, Tatyana Ostrikova in her speech informed the parliamentarians of the OSCE participating states about what is happening now:
– the ceasefire is not being observed by Russia and the Armed Forces it controls;
– they are killing OSCE monitors (in April, a car with observers exploded near Luhansk, a US citizen was killed);
– so far there are about 132 prisoners of war and illegally retained civilians, and it is Russia that blocks the process of their liberation and exchange;
– The number of dead and wounded is increasing daily; according to the latest UN data, there are 9,940 killed and 23,500 wounded citizens of Ukraine.
And although Russia does not recognize the presence of its military in Donbas, there is a lot of evidence of this.
A few days ago, in Donbas, the Ukrainian army detained a regular Russian military officer, Viktor Ageev, who had the documents of a Russian serviceman and who testified that he had been sent by Russia to fight in Ukraine.
Tetiana Ostrikova also asked the OSCE PA not to call the situation in Ukraine a conflict, because the conflict is something internal and civil inside the country. We need to face the reality and call these actions – the war of Russia against Ukraine. It is necessary to put responsibility on the Russian Federation for violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine both in the Crimea and in Donbas. However, Russia resorts to aggression not only in military operations. Recent events testify the threats to the global legal order on the part of Russia in the field of cybersecurity as well.
Viral and hacker attacks are no longer exclusively a matter of Internet technologies; they have become a matter of national security – both political and economic security. An example of political security – Russian’s interference in US elections. Distortion of people’s free expression of will through the use of the latest technology: hacker attacks on mails, dissemination of false information in social networks, tracking of the points through which one can affect a person and distort their choice. An example of economic security – the June cyberattacks on Ukrainian enterprises and state institutions. The competent authorities of Ukraine have noted the presence of a Russian trace in the infection of servers with the Petya virus. Therefore, there is a need to extend the norms and principles of international law to cyberspace, where attacks and aggression from Russia are taking place,” said Tetiana Ostrikova.
Of course, such statements could not go unnoticed by the Russian delegation. However, the participants of the Minsk session of the OSCE PA were not affected by the statements of Mr. Tolstoy, Vice Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation: “Nazi and fascist participants of Holocaust – Shukhevych and Bandera – are made heroes in Ukraine.” First of all, we are grateful to our colleagues from America, Canada, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, Sweden, Lithuania, Slovakia, Georgia, Belarus and many other countries for their understanding that Russia is an aggressor.
As a result, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk adopted a resolution “Restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. In the resolution, the PA expressed its “full respect” for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its borders recognized by the international community, which includes the Crimea, Sevastopol, and the occupied territories of Donbas. The resolution also calls on the Russian Federation to ensure the withdrawal of its armed formations, military equipment and mercenaries from the territory of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the supervision of the OSCE, as well as to disarm all the illegal armed groups.
This is a big breakthrough for us – the presence of military formations of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian territory is recognized at the international level. The OSCE PA resolution calls on the Russian Federation to stop sponsoring and supporting the illegal military formations by inflow of militants, money, and weapons through the uncontrolled sections of the Russian-Ukrainian border. The fact that the resolution was adopted with all the amendments from the Ukrainian side is a merit of the Ukrainian delegation (Artur Herasymov, Petro Poroshenko Bloc; Olha Bielkova, Petro Poroshenko Bloc; Ihor Popov, Radical Party; Tetiana Ostrikova, Samopomich) and the Ukrainian Ambassador to the OSCE. Despite their belonging to different parties, opposition or coalition, those people managed to work abroad as a team for the benefit of Ukraine.