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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Meeting sulla situazione in Ucraina

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Meeting in Consiglio di Sicurezza sulla situazione in Ucraina —

I would like to thank USG Feltman, USG O’Brian and OSCE SMM Chief Alpakan for their detailed briefings. Italy is deeply concerned for the escalation of tensions occurred in Donbass in the last days. In this vein, allow me to join your remarks and to address some key messages to all parties involved.

First of all, we urge them to immediately stop the intense fighting erupted around Avdiivka, which involved the use of heavy weapons, proscribed by the Minsk Agreements, and caused casualties and sufferings to the civilian population.

We urge them to agree on concrete and immediate steps to reverse the deteriorating security situation. This includes returning without delay to the cease-fire, to which they have repeatedly committed themselves, as well as to proceed with the disengagement in the areas specifically identified in September and to withdraw heavy weaponry in line with the provisions of the Minsk Agreements.

Secondly, we are seriously concerned for the dire humanitarian situation in the area: in the current harsh winter conditions and with freezing temperatures thousands of lives are at risk on both sides of the line of contact because of the destruction of the local power and water filtration plants. Every action required to restore full access to water, electricity and heating should be put in place without delay to prevent further suffering.

Therefore, we call on all parties to allow the urgent repair of critical infrastructure, to grant safe, full and unrestricted access to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and to humanitarian organizations. Protection of the civilian population must be kept as the highest priority by all sides.

In this regard, Italy promptly responded to the UN humanitarian call with a contribution of 1 million euros to the WFP and UNICEF programs on food security and mine risk education in conflict-afflicted areas.

Thirdly, the blatant violation of the cease-fire we are witnessing is not acceptable: the latest developments represent a serious violation of the Minsk Agreements. We firmly believe that their implementation is the only path towards a political solution to the crisis.

In this perspective, Italy reiterates its full support to the Normandy Group and to the OSCE’s role in facilitating dialogue. We deem it necessary to relaunch the negotiations without delay and expect a constructive commitment and tangible results to be agreed within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

We recall that the well known position of Italy is in support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine

Let me conclude by emphasizing that dialogue and political will must prevail on military solutions. All parties are called to honor their commitments in full, in order to achieve an inclusive and sustainable solution to the crisis in Ukraine.