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Lithuania at UN Council: Minsk accords must be respected by all parties, including Russia

BC, Vilnius, 19.02.2015.Print version
The Package of measures for implementation of the Minsk accords, inter alia, provides for ceasefire and withdrawal of weapons from the eastern regions of Ukraine. The Security Council reaffirmed its full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as called on all parties to fully implement the package of measures, reports LETA/ELTA.


On the same day, the UN Security Council issued a press statement to express grave concern at the continued fighting in and around Debaltseve, Ukraine, which has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and to regret that, despite the announcement of a ceasefire on 15 February, violence has continued in recent days in some parts of eastern Ukraine. The members of the Security Council also called on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and abide by commitments agreed in Minsk, said Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Following a vote on the Resolution, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, permanent representative of Lithuania to the UN, noted that as flawed as it was, the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk on 12 February did bring a weak glimmer of hope that end could be in sight, but all parties had to fully implement it.


For it to work, all the parties involved, including Russia, must honour their commitments in full and in their entirety, including the Minsk agreements of September 2014. The package of measures which was agreed on 12 February, is not and cannot be interpreted as a replacement of September 2014 accords, but only as a set of measures aimed at their implementation, said the Lithuanian Representative.


According to the ambassador, Russia does not act as a neutral intermediary and guarantor of the Minsk agreements. Without Russia's direct support, the so-called separatists would have fizzled out, dwindled into nonexistence many months ago. Russia is a direct party to this conflict, and bears the primary responsibility for the conflict that is tearing into Ukraine's flesh.


The Lithuanian Ambassador recalled that according to the Minsk agreements Russian troops and armaments must be withdrawn from Ukraine's territory. Ukraine needs to re-establish control of the international border with Russia, without any preconditions. An OSCE mechanism must be established to monitor the ceasefire. Ambassador Murmokaite also underlined that the humanitarian access had to be secured, the international human rights and international humanitarian law respected.


The Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN also highlighted the need for the credible prospect of justice and accountability for grave crimes committed in Ukraine, including the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH017. She called on Ukraine to complete the ratification process of the Rome Statute, to allow the International Criminal Court investigate crimes committed in the country.


The UN Security Council's Resolution 2202 (2015) is the second UN SC resolution on Ukraine. The Resolution 2166 (2014) was adopted on 21 July 2014 on Malaysian Jet Crash Demanding Accountability, Full Access to Site, Halt to Military Activities.

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