Kyiv, March 29, 2014 – Two of the most important past week events, devoted to Ukrainian issue at the international level, as well as the first official meeting of the Foreign Ministers for Russia and Ukraine were highlighted by Andriy Deshchytsia, the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Сrisis Media Center.
In his speech Andriy Deshchytsia has focused on the positive results of the two major events which took place last week and had a great importance for Ukraine’s foreign policy. In particular, Ukraine has reiterated its commitment to non-nuclear country status at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague and emphasized the importance of the Budapest Memorandum provisions on guarantees of territorial integrity and political sovereignty. This position of Ukraine received a very positive perception of the international community.
The UN General Assembly was another important event at the international stage, where a resolution was adopted with an unprecedented high support of the Ukrainian territorial integrity – 100 countries voted “in favour”, 58 – abstained and 11 supported Russia’s position. “We consider the voices of the so-called “UN-Hundred” as the support act of not only the integrity of Ukraine, but also of the new government and launched reforms – said Andriy Deshchytsia. – It also represents the fact that the Crimean issue went beyond the regional conflict and acquired global significance.”
As to the first official meeting with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Deshchytsia commented: “I heard nothing new in the Minister’s rhetoric, and his position on major issues, but the fact of the meeting was itself of a great importance. We have agreed to hold additional consultations if the situation in the country becomes worse. Also, Mr. Lavrov assured me that the Russian Federation has no intention to send troops and invade the Eastern or Southern regions of Ukraine. We hope that Russia keeps its word.” According to Mr. Deshchytsia, the Russian side is finally starting to realise that it is isolated, and its policy does not solve the problems, neither external nor internal ones. “I think Putin is starting to understand that the statements announced at the international forums by the various heads of states are transformed into action and can have very negative effects on the Russian economy.”
Andriy Deshchytsia also commented the official position of Ukraine’s accession to NATO: “According to the existing law of Ukraine, currently we do not have the prerequisites for an immediate NATO membership. However, given the current threat to the territorial integrity of the country, we consider this possibility and keep an active dialogue with NATO regarding the collective defense tools. I believe that the question of NATO accession is only the political will.”
The Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also said that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union should not have a negative impact on relations with Russia. “The movement of Ukraine towards the EU is the choice of Ukrainian people, which was taken many years ago – reminded Mr. Deshchytsia. – We have our full power to take decisions and we will surely use this right in a full volume. It is not against Russia, but for Russian people, because Ukraine’s accession to the EU will allow to bring European values closer to Russian borders.”
Andriy Deshchytsia is a Ukrainian diplomat, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine since 27 February, 2014, Special Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for Conflict Resolution since 2012.