Statement on the deteriorating situation in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine

The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (International Fund) expresses its deep concern regarding the deteriorating situation in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine.

These events appear to be a tragedy not only for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, but also for all the states in the region and entire Europe.

The clashes in Ukraine accompanied by mutual accusations between the West and Russia and their reciprocal actions towards each other cause damage to the trade and economic relations and the whole security system in Europe.

No doubt, many deaths among Ukrainian citizens, destruction of infrastructure in this country and deteriorating relations between Russia and the West attest serious consequences of the crisis in Ukraine.

The events during the recent months have demonstrated that military operations and mutual sanctions will not be able to settle this crisis.

The International Fund, standing for the consolidation of peace and cooperation, is confident about the need for an urgent serious political dialogue and active diplomatic negotiations between the parties on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.

This dialogue and negotiations should be based on the norms and principles of international law and, in the first place, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders.

There is no doubt that all military operations should be immediately suspended. The conditions must be created for providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the population in the conflict-affected areas of Ukraine with the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The crisis settlement will be a comprehensive and sustainable if the national dialogue in Ukraine will take place in parallel with the diplomatic negotiations between the West and Russia on developing a common vision about their historic neighborhood. Thus, dialogue and negotiations should take place at two levels: national and international.

The UN is a global organization responsible for ensuring international peace and security. On the other hand, the OSCE is considered to be the only pan-European organization, acting on the basis of consensus principle, which has extensive experience in the implementation of confidence and security building measures in crisis situations and field missions on the territory of Ukraine. The International Fund, through its coordinated activities, calls on these organizations to promote effective national dialogue in Ukraine and to serve as a platform for diplomatic negotiations between the West, Russia and Ukraine.

The International Fund, with the representatives of Ukraine and Russia being among the co-founders and active members of the Fund, believes that the Ukrainian people should be able to decide their own peaceful and stable future, and expresses hope that the parties involved will demonstrate responsibility and wisdom in order to overcome these harsh times.