New York

03 May 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in Ukraine—release of OSCE monitors and the violence in Odessa

The Secretary-General welcomes the release of the OSCE military monitors and accompanying Ukrainian staff, who were abducted on 25 April.  He expresses his appreciation to all who helped facilitate their safe release, including the Russian Federation.

He once again underscores that those responsible for the capture and detention of the unarmed monitors should be held accountable for their actions, as well as those who continue such unlawful acts in the country. The Secretary-General reiterates that international missions and their counterparts working in Ukraine must be allowed to perform their duties unimpeded and called on all actors to respect the freedom of movement, safety and security of the personnel of various missions working in Ukraine.

While welcoming the release of the monitors, the Secretary-General is at the same time deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives yesterday in violent clashes in the city of Odessa. He extends his condolences to the families of those killed and wishes the many injured a speedy and full recovery. He calls for swift and conclusive investigations into this tragic incident.

The Secretary-General once again stresses that a political and diplomatic solution is the only way out of the crisis.  He reiterates his urgent call to all those involved and all those with influence on the situation to assume their responsibilities and to play a constructive role to de-escalate, end the violence and work towards a peaceful and lasting resolution. He underscores the need for all to fully respect Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.