Kyiv, April 9th, 2014 – During a briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center Ambassador Tim Guldimann reported that after 6 weeks of work in Ukraine, OSCE has concluded three things:
- There is a clear statement that so-called referendum in Crimea was a violation of Ukrainian constitution
- OSCE succeeded to pass unanimous decision on March 21st on deployment a special mission to Ukraine. 57 participating states gather every week in Vienna, while over hundred observers are working in Ukraine on the ground and this number will be raised to 500 people, deployed in Kyiv and other cities like Odessa, Lviv, Donetsk, Chernivtsi, Dnipropetrovsk and others.
- Turkish Diplomat Ertuğrul Apakan was appointed a head of the mission in Ukraine
Mr. Guldimann also explained, how the mission is working: ‘The monitors stay on the ground, go out in the regions, observe the situation and make daily and weekly reports. The mission focuses on security issues and commitments to fundamental freedoms and specific regards of the rights of national minorities’.
At the same time, Mr. Ambassador underlined that ‘this mission is not about solving problems themselves, it’s about wondering to the extent the situation can be observed and handling it to other institutions’.
Commenting on the situation in the regions, Mr. Guldimann said: “Everywhere we have been we were told presidential elections are being prepared by local authorities”. According to the envoy, the mission also concluded that the language is not a political question: “The parliament’s decision was a political step, but on the ground people say they have no any problems with the use of language”. As for decentralization, Mr. Guldimann said, there is a difference between decentralization and federalization: “Decentralization means you delegate some competence to local authorities. Federalization means anything which is not delegated to central authority is in competence of the local authority. It’s a different approach”.
Commenting on the situation in Crimea, Mr. Ambassador noted that OSCE can’t impose military observation to limit the presence of Russian troops: “This is the reality when a legal problem is clear, but on the ground there is no opportunity to do what we think should be done”.
Tim Guldimann, Ambassador, Personal Envoy of the Swiss OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Ukraine. Head of the OSCE Assistance Group in Chechnya, Ambassador (1996-97) and Head of the OSCE Mission to Croatia, Ambassador (1997-99), Swiss Ambassador to Iran and in this quality representative of US interests (1999-2004). Ambassador and Deputy Special Representative of the UN-SG in Kosovo 2007-08.