Statement on the Minsk agreements

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the UN Security Council briefing called by Russian Federation on Threats to international peace and security, situation in Ukraine

Thank you Madam President.

I would also like to thank the ASG Jenča for his briefing. We also take note of the statement by Mr. Sweeny.  

Madam President,

Slovenia has continuously encouraged both sides to fully implement the Minsk Agreements as a whole. The aim of the agreements was to bring peace to Eastern Ukraine and reintegrate separatists-controlled areas with the rest of the country. Due to the Russian invasion we will never know if the agreements had a chance for success.   

If peace is to come to Ukraine, we need to understand where the soft spots of the Minsk agreements were in order to secure just peace for Ukraine in the future. While we profoundly disagree on many points made by the Russian Federation, we would offer our take on the issue:

One – With its direct involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine Russia violated the Budapest Memorandum, as well as the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act on the inviolability of borders in Europe. Rebuilding trust will be a tremendous task. It is Russia who will need to demonstrate it can be trusted to hold up to its commitments.

Two – It is Russia that started a full-scale invasion, which ultimately put an end to the Minsk agreements. It needs to be said again – it is Ukraine that is under aggression, with its sovereignty and territorial integrity violated. With this in mind, we will continue to support Ukraine fully.

Three – It will have to be Ukraine to decide when and how it wants to engage in discussions towards peace agreement. We will listen and help. We believe, however, that the terms of a future ceasefire will need to be much more specific. It was the abstract nature and the ambiguity of the text of the Minsk Agreements that enabled arbitrary interpretations, which provided an alibi for violations.

Madam President,

It may seem impossible at times, but let me underline that what is needed is to work towards just, lasting and comprehensive peace in Ukraine. Dwelling on past agreements that did not work, will not take us any closer to this goal.  Instead, Russia should start respecting international law and its basic principles, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity of another state and immediately withdraw its troops from of Ukraine. Diplomacy will pick up from there.

Thank you, Madame President.

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