OSCE Chairperson-in-Office reminds that Crimea is Ukraine.

The Russia-Ukraine armed conflict must be settled with full respect for Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea.

"As a Chair, Sweden recognizes the vital importance of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. We will seek to contribute to the ongoing efforts of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group to find a sustainable solution to the conflict. This must be done in line with the OSCE principles and commitments in full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol," OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde said at a joint session of the three General Committees of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on Thursday.

Linde also pointed out that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine "is mandated to have safe and secure access without restriction throughout Ukraine." She stressed that the SMM must be provided with "conditions necessary for the implementation of its mandate."

Ann Linde's statement was made in response to a question from the head of the Verkhovna Rada delegation to the OSCE PA, Mykyta Poturayev, who asked why the OSCE still has not joined the UN and UNESCO in remote monitoring of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea and reminded that the SMM mandate covers the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea.

The 20th Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is taking place on 24-26 February 2021 in a virtual format with the participation of about 270 parliamentarians, as well as high-ranking representatives of the OSCE participating states. The issue of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the temporary occupation of Crimea remains one of the main topics of speeches of members of parliaments of the OSCE participating states.

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