Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council briefing on Kosovo

I thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo Mr. Zahir Tanin for his comprehensive briefing on the delevelopments in Kosovo. I would like to reiterate Ukraine’s full support to him as he carries out his important functions.

We note that throughout the reporting period, there have been a series of regrettable events which caused significant increase of tension. These tensions are a matter of concern, as they could impede the process of normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina and negatively affect the lives of all Kosovo residents.

Ukraine welcomes the role of the European Union in diffusing tensions and commends the resumption of high-level meetings between Belgrade and Pristina in Brussels.

We call upon the political leaders in Belgrade and Pristina to actively work to avoid provocation, confrontation, and escalation into a conflict. It is important that in the spirit of restraint and responsibility they put aside their political ambitions and focus on further progress in the implementation of the agreed commitments, which would bring benefits for the people in this region and enhance their European perspective.

We are encouraged by the tangible results in the implementation of the agreements concluded in the framework of the EU-led dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, in particular on freedom of movement, telecommunication and justice. Ukraine looks forward to further progress in the fulfillment of outstanding commitments, including on the establishment of the association of Serb-majority municipalities.

Ukraine continues to support the important role played by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and Kosovo Force (KFOR), where Ukrainian peacekeepers contribute to preserving peace and stability in Kosovo.

At the same time, like other delegations, we believe that it is time to consider the frequency of UNMIK periodic reports. It might be appropriate to adopt a more flexible approach. Resolution 1244 requests the Secretary-General to report at regular intervals without specifying how often. We believe the Council could agree on having regular reports twice a year with an option of spot reports as may be required by the situation on the ground.

Finally, it is time to review the UN role in Kosovo, including vis-a-vis regional presences and possible steps towards its rationalization. We believe that an option of converting United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) into a Special Political Mission (SPM) should be considered as an option that would appropriately reflect its current role.