We, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union, express our continued grave concern on the situation in eastern Ukraine.
We welcome the Minsk agreements of 5 and 19 September as an important step towards a sustainable, mutually agreed cease-fire, a secure Russian-Ukrainian border and the return of peace and stability to eastern Ukraine with the establishment of a “special status” zone, which is to be empowered with a strong local self-government under Ukrainian law. We condemn the ongoing violations of the ceasefire agreement.
The ceasefire agreement offers an important opportunity to find a durable political solution to the conflict, in full respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia must immediately meet its own commitments of the Minsk agreement, including by withdrawing all of its forces, weapons and equipment from Ukraine; securing and respecting the international border between the two countries with OSCE monitoring; and ensuring that all hostages are released. Russia must also ensure that all commitments of the Minsk agreement be met and the political process within Ukraine continues. We commend the efforts Ukraine has made to implement its responsibilities under the Minsk agreement, such as passing legislation on amnesty and a “special status” for parts of eastern Ukraine.
We commend the OSCE´s key role through the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) and within the Trilateral Contact Group in helping de-escalate the crisis. The OSCE has been assigned a crucial role as the monitoring mechanism in the implementation of the Minsk agreement, which we fully support. We call on all OSCE states to help provide the organization all support necessary to fulfill these responsibilities, and to support an expansion of the SMM. We urge the Governments of Russia and Ukraine to fully facilitate and support this expansion.
We reiterate our condemnation of Russia’s illegal attempted annexation of Crimea.
We reiterate our condemnation of the downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft on 17 July 2014 with the loss of 298 innocent lives and welcome the internationally respected recent publication of the preliminary report on the tragedy. We call for immediate, safe and unrestricted access to the crash site to enable independent experts to swiftly conclude their investigations, also in order to hold accountable those responsible for the event.
On the threshold of the coming winter, Ukraine faces difficult economic and social challenges, partially caused by the conflict forced upon the country. We commit ourselves to help Ukraine to recover from this massive economic setback and to rebuild its economy. To this end we will closely work together and coordinate with other donors and international financial institutions. We welcome the upcoming donors’ and investors’ conferences organized by Ukraine with the support of the European Union. We encourage the Ukrainian leadership to continue with necessary political, economic and rule of law-related reforms. We trust that the early parliamentary elections will be free, fair and fully in line with international standards.
We stand united in the expectation that this crisis will be solved with respect for international law, and Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. In the course of the past weeks, we have put in place additional coordinated sanctions affecting Russia. Sanctions are not an end in themselves; they can only be rolled back when Russia meets its commitments related to the cease fire and the Minsk agreements and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty. In case of adverse action, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs on Russia for non-compliance.
We welcome the ratification of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) by the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada on 16 September. In accordance with the agreement reached at the trilateral meeting between the EU, Ukraine and Russia on 12 September on the implementation of the DCFTA, the EU intends to postpone the provisional application of the trade-related provisions until 31 December 2015, while maintaining the EU’s autonomous trade measures to the benefit of Ukraine, as agreed upon at the trilateral meeting between the EU, Ukraine and Russia on 12 September. This will help stabilize the Ukrainian economy in this difficult time. We welcome that the trilateral talks between Ukraine, Russia and the EU will continue. It is equally important to continue the discussions between Russia, Ukraine and the EU on resolving outstanding energy issues.