The development of economic projects in the Black Sea region can not be carried out due to the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine and Georgia. This was stated by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander at a meeting of the 35th BSEC Council of Ministers. Text of the speech was published on the Ministry Foreign Affairs of Ukraine website.
Ukraine has always considered BSEC as the Organization that would turn the Black Sea region into the area of peace, stability and prosperity through constructive and fruitful collaboration in wide-ranging fields of economic activity.
However, how can BSEC foster economic cooperation when one of its member states flagrantly violates the provisions of the BSEC Charter by breaking universal principles and rules of international law, disregarding human rights and fundamental freedoms, threatening security and stability of its neighbors?
I have attended several BSEC ministerial meetings before. And I hear constantly that this Organization is inefficient and stagnant. And when you ask your partners around the table why our Organization is inefficient and stagnant, they usually answer: because there are so many unresolved conflicts in the area. And when you look into the origins and protagonists of all these conflicts and ask further who is the common destructive agent behind all these conflicts, the obvious answer is - Moscow.
Wherever you look across the years and across the area - Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorny Karabakh, and now also Crimea and part of Eastern Ukraine, it is the same pattern, the same force which is the main violator of all possible rules and the main hindrance to the successful development of our region. And whenever we try to appease the aggressor hoping that he will finally stop at some point, he is taking more and more.
Under the circumstances, how can we go forward with the Black Sea Ring Highway and the Motorways of the Sea when it is supposed to run through all these unrecognized enclaves and occupied territories?
Or with cruise tourism projects involving occupied Crimea?
Or even any meaningful joint energy projects when Russia is stealing Ukrainian oil and gas reserves and has turned Crimea into the highly militarized zone, allegedly now also with nuclear weapons?
How can we speak of the region of prosperity when the Ukrainians and Crimean Tartars are being persecuted, tortured, thrown into prison, killed or deported from Crimea on a daily basis?
How can we ship our cargo through Donbas without stumbling at about 8000 members of the Russian regular armed forces, 30000 Russian mercenaries, 600 Russian tanks, 1000 artillery systems, 1500 armored vehicles, 400 rocket launching systems?
How can we accept voluntary contributions from member states when the deal is done behind our backs and nobody knows what projects and on what territories they will be implemented? Ukraine is against the Russian proposal regarding the Black Sea Project Promotion Facility, since the Charter and Financial rules were clearly violated.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our Organization may be of economic nature, but it is based on fundamental democratic values of international law and human rights. The moment we are tempted to trade these values for economic benefits, the entire edifice of this Organization will crumble. I invite all of us to use time before the BSEC Summit next year to reflect upon those issues so that we meet current challenges with efficient decisions that will turn BSEC into a vibrant and successful initiative.
December 9, the Russian delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has blocked almost all the initiatives on the settlement of crisis in Ukraine at the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council.