Statement delivered by Italy at the General Assembly plenary meeting on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine —
Italy aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks of its own.
We strongly condemn the decision by the Russian Federation to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and to deploy Russian forces in the Donbass region. These acts are unacceptable violations of Ukraine’s democratic sovereignty and territorial integrity, are inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and contradict the Minsk Agreements endorsed by the Security Council and of which the Russian Federation is a signatory party.
The EU has already responded to these violations with additional restrictive measures, including on economic relations and trade with the non-governmental controlled areas, in the financial sphere with asset freeze of some banks and restrictions on sovereign debt, as well as against individuals and entities responsible for undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
In line with UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262, Italy also reaffirms its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, and reiterates its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
The afore-described position has been stated by Italy also in its capacity as current Presidency of the Council of Europe.
We call on Russia to reconsider its decisions, to de-escalate tensions, to withdraw military forces from Ukraine’s territory and to fully abide by its international commitments. As the Secretary General – whose efforts we appreciate – pointed out yesterday and also today, “we need de-escalation now” and now is the time to return to negotiations.
We urge Russia to pursue dialogue on security issues through the US-Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue, the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE. We commend the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue launched by the Polish OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office and we encourage Russia to engage constructively in it.
While the offer of dialogue remains standing, any further military initiative against Ukraine would trigger an additional united and firm response.
After almost eight years of conflict and in light of the latest developments, we are more and more concerned about the condition of the civilian population in Ukraine, which continues to bear the heaviest burden. It is of the utmost importance to provide effective and unhindered assistance to those in need and to help preserve the economic and financial stability of Ukraine, which is being further undermined by the current crisis environment. In this regard, Italy intends to support Ukraine with an amount of around 110 million euros in aid credit and grants. Building on the support that it has provided since 2014, Italy remains committed to do its part, together with its European partners and in full solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Italy will continue to be actively engaged, in close coordination with its European partners and allies, to promote a peacefully solution to this crisis and to avert a conflict at the heart of Europe, which would have disastrous humanitarian and economic consequences.
I thank you, Mr. President.