U.S. supports Ann Linde’s statement that Ukraine conflict settlement must include Crimea

U.S. supports Ann Linde’s statement that Ukraine conflict settlement must include Crimea

Ukrinform
The United States fully supports the statement by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Ann Linde that the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine must include de-occupation of Crimea, and the OSCE SMM must have access to the peninsula.

Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Courtney Austrian said this at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, January 28, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"The Swedish CiO’s recent comments on seeking a sustainable political solution [in Ukraine] were absolutely correct – this must be done in line with international law and the OSCE’s principles and commitments, with full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea and the city of Sevastopol," she said.

The American diplomat emphasized that there was no legitimacy to Russia’s objection last week, which was predicated on Moscow’s refusal to acknowledge the overwhelmingly-held view of the members of this Council, the United Nations, and the European Court of Human Rights: Crimea is Ukraine. 

"The SMM’s mandate, as committed to by this Permanent Council, provides the Mission with “safe and secure access throughout Ukraine.” We all know Crimea is Ukraine," the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE stressed.

She added that Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine represented the most significant threat to European security in the region. "We are grateful that Sweden has rightfully made the conflict in Ukraine a key focus of its 2021 Chairpersonship," Courtney Austrian said.

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