Виступ делегації України в ході брифінгу Ради Безпеки ООН щодо ситуації в Косово

Виступ делегації України в ході брифінгу Ради Безпеки ООН щодо ситуації в Косово

(16 May 2017)

Mr. President,

I thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo and UNMIK Head Mr. Zahir Tanin for his briefing on the developments in Kosovo. I am also grateful to Her Excellency Ms,Nela Kuburovic, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, and Ms. Vlora Çitaku for their statements.

Mr. President,

Unfortunately the negative trend of events that cause instability and could create further tensions in Kosovo continued during this reporting period.

Ukraine regrets that despite the concerns expressed by Council members during our discussion in February, Kosovo institutions attempted to move on with transforming the Kosovo Security Force into an armed force. We consider such an approach of establishing facts on the ground as irresponsible and potentially leading to heightened tensions in the region. We are worried thatan attempted conversion of the Kosovo Security Force into a Kosovo army, coupled with rising ethno-nationalist sentiments,could be an explosive cocktail. Definitely this does not contribute to confidence building both among communitiesinside Kosovo and between Belgrade and Pristina. We commend quick reaction by the NATO and the United States to this development and welcome the decision by Kosovo institutions to withdraw this initiative to „secure the support of all sides”.

We have also witnessed further disturbing developments on property issues, hate speech with a threat of ethnic cleansing, incidents with travellers from Kosovo, resistance to the process of peaceful returns as well as the resolution of Kosovo Assemblycalling for the suspension of the European Union-facilitated dialogue.

My delegation is frustrated by the reported obstruction ofreturns, particularly in Istok. During the first visit of the Security Council to Kosovo back in 2000, in which Ukraine participated, Istok was presented as a prospective area for Serbs’ returns. Seventeen years later, nothing has changed and those who oppose returns are using same old arguments. Failure of Kosovo institutions to facilitate the smooth return process puts in question their commitment to this process.

All these developments do not contribute to the spirit of restraint and cooperation needed to achieve necessary progress on implementation of the agreed commitments.

Against this backdrop, we welcome the efforts of the European Union, OSCE, NATO and UNMIK in preserving peace and stability in Kosovo. Their actions are vital in diffusing tensions and averting further deterioration of the situation.

Mr. President,

We reiterate our call to political leaders in Belgrade and Pristina to actively work to avoid provocation, confrontation, and escalation into a conflict. It is important to continue implementation of their commitments, thus bringing benefits for all people living in the region and enhancing their European perspective.

Taking this opportunity, Ukraine welcomes the peaceful conduct of the Serbian Presidential elections in Kosovo. We are glad that despite some difficulties, according to the SG Report, “no security incidents were reported in connection with the voting, collection or transportation of votes”.

We fully agree with the SG observations that “the European Union-facilitated dialogue is the best available mechanism for peaceful resolution of differences, to the benefit of both sides”. We support the EU’s enhanced role in the region, which proved to be constructive and contributed to the stabilization and peaceful development of countries in the Western Balkans and Europe as a whole.

Finally, we support as before the call of many other delegations to reconsider the regularity of Security Council briefings on Kosovo and to start focused discussions on UNMIK reconfiguration.