Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya during the consideration of the draft resoltuion on the problem of the militarization of Crimea and parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov

Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya during the consideration of the draft resoltuion on the problem of the militarization of Crimea and parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov

Mr. President,

We have just adopted the Resolution on Follow-Up to the Declaration and Programme on a Culture of Peace and agreed to promote a culture of peace at the national, regional and international levels and to ensure that peace and non-violence are fostered at all levels.

Almost immediately we have got a chance to prove its worth.

I have the honour to introduce the draft resolution A/76/L.22, which focuses on the progressive militarization by the Russian Federation of the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

By occupying Peninsula and transforming it into the powerful military base in the region, the Russian Federation has violated fundamental norms and principles of international law, primarily the UN Charter.

As of today, the territory of Crimea continues to host a disproportionate number of weapons.

Russia is conducting regular military exercises combining with intensive “snap” exercises in Crimea that destabilize military-political situation in the region.

Today Ukraine faces even greater threat than before, since the Russia’s military build-up near Ukrainian state borders has reached the number of at least 40 battalion tactical groups stand ready to be deployed as part of the potential offensive operation.

Mr. President,

On December 5 we commemorated the 27th anniversary of signing by three nuclear weapons States, including Russia, the Budapest Memorandum on security assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Two decades later my country had to confront aggression launched by a nuclear weapon State, who provided the assurances of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

It is alarming that Russia has seized former Soviet-era nuclear weapons storage sites in Crimea. It also deploys carriers and other means capable of delivering nuclear weapons in Crimea.

Mr. President,

Since the beginning of occupation of Crimea, Russia has engaged in numerous flagrant violations of Ukraine’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant rules of international law: it has unlawfully excluded Ukraine from exercising its maritime rights in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait; exploited Ukraine’s sovereign resources in those waters for its own ends; and has usurped Ukraine’s right to regulate within its own maritime areas.

Russia also continues to disrupt international navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by blocking the passage of ships through the Kerch Strait. A closure of unprecedented duration took place between the end of April and the end of October 2021.

All of the listed challenges above testified to the need to the establishment of the International Crimea Platform, the Inaugural Summit of which was held on August 23, 2021 in Kyiv, and concluded its work by the adoption of the Joint Declaration of the International Crimea Platform Participants.

Given the current volatile situation, Ukraine together with Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau submitted the updated UNGA draft resolution on «Problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov».

This year’s draft resolution contains a number of important elements, including those focusing on:

• the unprovoked build-up of forces in and around Ukraine,

• the ongoing inflow of weapons,

• the support of efforts within the Crimea Platform to address challenges stemming from the progressive militarization of the Peninsula and parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,

• the need to ensure by Russia of transparency over its military activity in occupied Crimea, which undermines stability, military predictability and trust in the region,

• the interference and blocking of navigation both of commercial vessels and government ships sailing under various flags, the extension of naval bases for the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation, as well as seizure of Ukraine’s oil platforms.

The main purpose of the resolution remains unchanged - to ensure that Russia withdraws its military forces from Crimea and ends the temporary occupation of Ukraine’s territory.

Mr.President, Destinguished Delegates,

One day, but not today, delegates may come to this hall and cast their votes to amend the Charter as its article 108 prescribes.

Not today.

In fact not during the last thirty years, when the Russian Federation has bedeviled its neighbors and beyond: kept its unwelcome troops on foreign territories, subsequently occupied and tried to illegally annex them, waged military aggressions, shot down civilian aircraft, committed gross human rights violations on the occupied territories, killed thousands of foreign military and civilians ... starting from the wars against its own people in Chechnya and onward in neighboring countries.

Hence Russia all these long and bloody decades has never dared to legitimize its presence in the Security Council.

Article 23 of the Charter, not by accident, continues to read that it is the Soviet Union, not the Russian Federation, that is a permanent member of the Security Council.

Being a legitimate member of the Security Council does not mean to ask the Secretariat to put a piece of plastic with your name in front of you. It means much more than that. In fact it means to undertake obligations, to respect them, and to behave accordingly. It means to stop aggressive militaristic policies, occupation of foreign territories, killing foreign citizens. It means waging no wars. Only then the United Nations may gather in this hall and cast 2/3 of the votes to make the de facto presence of Russia in the Security Council a de jure membership.

Only if it happens, your grandchildren, Russian delegates, may be able to go to the UN bookstore, buy this little blue book, open it and read in Article 23 that it is the Russian Federation, not the Soviet Union, that is a permanent member of the Security Council.

Not today.

Today we vote to stop you, Russian delegates, from doing exactly the opposite of what a permanent member, any member of this Organization, pledged to do.

To vote in favor of the draft means to make an effort to stop the madness of bloodthirsty warmongering.

To vote in favor means to respect the Charter. Today's vote in its essence is about the UN purposes and principles.

It is about being on the right side of history. It is your choice, and only yours!

Thank you.