Ministers’ Deputies

Information documents

CM/Inf(2014)14       2 May 20141



The situation in Ukraine (November 2013 – May 2014)
Overview of action by the Committee of Ministers

Document presented by the Chair



The Committee of Ministers at Deputies’ level has closely followed the crisis in Ukraine since its very beginning. On 10 December 2013, it adopted a Declaration calling for dialogue among all political forces in Ukraine, urging them to resolve the ongoing crisis with mutual consideration and through democratic and peaceful means.

As from January 2014, the situation in Ukraine has been discussed at every meeting of Ministers’ Deputies. On 10 March and on 30 April, Minister Sebastian Kurz and the Secretary General went to Kiyiv to discuss with the highest Ukrainian authorities the situation in Ukraine as well as the assistance by the Council of Europe.

From a political point of view, the Committee of Ministers condemned the illegal referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on 16 March and stressed that their illegal annexation by the Russian Federation could not form the basis for any alteration of their status. The Committee has reiterated, on a number of occasions, member States’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Committee of Ministers has repeatedly called for its peaceful solution. It has also called on all parties to take steps to reduce tensions and to engage in a dialogue. In this context, it expressed its full support to the four-party Contact Group meeting held in Geneva on 17 April 2014.

The Committee of Ministers also stressed the importance of the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights following the Inter-State application lodged by Ukraine and called on the two Parties concerned to comply with this measure without delay.

As far as the Ukrainian domestic scene is concerned, the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General have offered concrete and tailor-made assistance to Ukraine to help it in implementing reforms aimed at strengthening human rights protection, the functioning of democratic institutions and the rule of law in line with the Council of Europe’s values. On 2 April, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr Andrii Deshchytsia, addressed the meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies and reiterated the commitment of his authorities to effectively implement these reforms.

The assistance provided by the Council of Europe includes an International Advisory Panel to promote confidence through an independent investigation of acts of violence; a tripartite working party involving the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Council of Europe to bring forward legislative reforms; assistance by the Venice Commission regarding the reform of the Constitution; and assistance to the preparation to the presidential elections scheduled for 25 May 2014. The Committee of Ministers has underlined the importance of these elections and has called on all Ukrainian political forces to participate in the electoral process so that the elections are held in a free and democratic manner and in a peaceful environment.

As regards the question of minorities, following a request made by the Ukrainian authorities, the Committee of Ministers instructed the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to review the situation of national minorities in Ukraine. After a visit of the Advisory Committee and the submission of the Advisory Committee’s report, the Ministers’ Deputies noted the concerns raised therein and called on the parties concerned to effectively follow up on all the report’s conclusions.

Finally, in a Declaration adopted on 30 April, the Committee of Ministers, expressed its alarm and serious concern at the ongoing detention in Eastern Ukraine of military monitors who carried out a visit to Ukraine on the basis of the OSCE Vienna document 2011 on confidence- and security-building measures. The Committee condemned this clear breach of the provisions of the Vienna document and called for the immediate release of all monitors still detained. It also appealed to all those who may be able to contribute to such a release to undertake all necessary steps to this end without delay and expressed the hope that a swift solution will be found.

The decisions and declarations adopted by the Committee of Ministers since November 2013 appear in the Appendix to this document.

Appendix

1198th meeting – 29-30 April and 2 May 2014

Item 2.1bis

Current political questions –

Draft Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the detention of military monitors on a mission to Eastern Ukraine on the basis of the OSCE Vienna document of 2011

Decision

The Deputies adopted the Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the detention of military monitors on a mission to Eastern Ukraine on the basis of the OSCE Vienna document of 2011, as it appears at Appendix 6 to the present volume of Decisions.

1198th meeting – 29-30 April and 2 May 2014

Appendix 6
(Item 2.1bis)

Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the detention of military monitors on a mission to Eastern Ukraine on the basis of the OSCE Vienna document of 2011

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 30 April 2014

at the 1198th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is alarmed and seriously concerned by the ongoing detention in Eastern Ukraine of military monitors who carried out a visit to Ukraine on the basis of the OSCE Vienna document 2011 on confidence- and security-building measures. It condemns this clear breach of the provisions of the Vienna document.

The Committee calls for the immediate release of all monitors still detained and appeals to all those who may be able to contribute to such a release to undertake all necessary steps to this end without delay and expresses the hope that a swift solution will be found.

1197th meeting – 16 April 2014

Item 1.6

Situation in Ukraine

(CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.3, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192bis/1.2, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1194/1.7, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1195/1.7, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1196/1.8, DD(2014)218, DD(2014)221, DD(2014)268, DD(2014)281, CM(2014)46 and DD(2014)508)

Decisions

The Deputies,

Recalling their previous decisions, and in particular those adopted at their 1192bis (26 February 2014), 1194th (12-14 March 2014), 1195th (19-20 March 2014) and 1196th (2-3 April 2014) meetings,

Having taken note of Resolutions 1988 (2014) and 1990 (2014) of the Parliamentary Assembly,

1. welcomed the holding of the first meeting of the International Advisory Panel on investigations in Ukraine from 9 to 11 April 2014;

2. expressed their deep concern regarding the recent acts of violence and the occupation of administrative buildings in eastern Ukraine; reiterated in this context member States’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and in particular to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine;

3. called on all parties to urgently take steps to reduce tensions and engage without delay in a dialogue in order to settle the situation in a peaceful and negotiated manner;

4. expressed their full support to the four-party Contact Group meeting which is to be held in Geneva on 17 April 2014 as well as any other efforts aiming at facilitating such dialogue;

5. underlined the importance of preparing the Presidential elections scheduled for 25 May 2014 in the framework of an inclusive and impartial process, and called on all Ukrainian political forces to participate in such a process so that the elections are held in a free and democratic manner and in a peaceful environment;

6. reiterated their support to the initiatives taken by the Ukrainian authorities to consolidate the functioning of democratic institutions, the protection of human rights and the rule of law, and welcomed the contacts which they have recently undertaken with the Council of Europe to this end; welcomed in this context the visit of the Venice Commission to Ukraine on 15 April 2014 in order to provide assistance for the reforms under way, in particular regarding the constitution.

1196th meeting – 2-3 April 2014

Item 1.8

Situation in Ukraine

(CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.3, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192bis/1.2, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1194/1.7, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1195/1.7, DD(2014)218, DD(2014)221, DD(2014)268, DD(2014)281 and CM(2014)46)

Decisions

The Deputies,

Recalling their previous decisions, and in particular those adopted at their 1192bis (26 February 2014), 1194th (12-14 March 2014) and 1195th (19-20 March 2014) meetings,

1. stressed that the illegal referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on 16 March 2014 and the subsequent illegal annexation by the Russian Federation cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol;

2. welcomed the participation of the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr Andrii Deshchytsia, in their meeting and the commitment of the Ukrainian authorities, which he reiterated on this occasion, to effectively implement reforms aimed at strengthening human rights protection, the functioning of democratic institutions and the rule of law in line with the Council of Europe values;

3. welcomed also the immediate assistance measures for Ukraine presented by the Secretary General at the meeting, including the important tasks assigned to the Venice Commission in assisting Ukraine in various areas of reform, encouraged their rapid implementation and invited member States to urgently consider granting voluntary contributions for their financing;

4. welcomed the appointment of the third member of the International Advisory Panel and looked forward to the Panel starting its work rapidly;

5. recalled the obligation for all States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights to abide by this instrument and reiterated their call to the two Parties concerned to comply without delay with the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights following the Inter-State application lodged by Ukraine;

6. expressed their appreciation to the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, composed of independent experts, for the ad hoc report promptly prepared on the situation of national minorities in Ukraine;

7. noted the concerns raised in this report (CM(2014)46), including those regarding the safety of persons belonging to national minorities, and called on the parties concerned to effectively follow up all its conclusions;

8. invited the Advisory Committee to continue to monitor the situation of national minorities throughout Ukraine, including in Crimea, using all available means; welcomed in this context the launching of the third monitoring cycle regarding the implementation by Ukraine of the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the fourth monitoring cycle regarding the implementation by Ukraine of the provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, under which an assessment regarding the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, including regional or minority languages, will be provided throughout Ukraine, including in Crimea;

9. decided to continue to follow closely the situation in Ukraine.

1195th meeting – 19 and 20 March 2014

Item 1.7

Situation in Ukraine
(CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.3, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192bis/1.2, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1194/1.7, DD(2014)218, DD(2014)221, DD(2014)268 and DD(2014)281)

Decisions

The Deputies,

Recalling their previous decisions, and in particular those adopted at their 1192bis (26 February 2014) and 1194th (12-14 March 2014) meetings,

1. reiterated their solidarity with Ukraine and its people and underlined that the current crisis in Ukraine must be resolved peacefully, based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as in strict adherence to international law;

2. condemned the fact that the referendum conducted by the local authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in violation of the Ukrainian legislation took place on 16 March 2014;

3. deplored the subsequent decision of the President of the Russian Federation to sign treaties on the admission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, as well as his appeal to the Parliament of the Russian Federation to adopt a law to complete this process;

4. firmly recalled the duty of all member States to comply with the commitments undertaken under the Statute of the Council of Europe and relevant instruments of the Organisation;

5. stressed in this context the importance of the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights following the Inter-State application lodged by Ukraine and called on the two Parties concerned to comply with this measure without delay;

6. urged the Russian Federation to enter into direct dialogue with the Government of Ukraine and called on both sides to use all relevant international mechanisms to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the current crisis, and to refrain from any steps which may increase tensions and lead to further violence;

7. supported the Secretary General’s initiatives to assist the Ukrainian authorities in their efforts to consolidate democratic institutions, to protect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, and to promote the rule of law;

8. agreed to resume consideration of this item at their next meeting.

1194th meeting – 12-14 March 2014

Item 1.7

Situation in Ukraine
(CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.3, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192bis/1.2, DD(2014)218, DD(2014)221, DD(2014)268 and DD(2014)281)

Decisions

The Deputies,

Referring to their previous decisions concerning Ukraine, and in particular the decision of 26 February 2014 in which they recalled their governments’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and in particular to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine, and appealing to refrain from any steps which would endanger such principles,

1. expressed once again their solidarity with Ukraine and its people, underlined the importance of maintaining the efforts towards a political solution in the country and the contribution of the Council of Europe to that end, notably regarding the consolidation of democratic institutions, the protection of all persons, including those belonging to national minorities and rebuilding trust;

2. took note of the report on the visit of the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General to Kyiv on 10 March 2014;

3. welcomed the establishment of a tripartite working party involving the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Council of Europe to bring forward the legislative reforms;

4. encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to draw without delay on the expertise of the Venice Commission regarding the reform of the Constitution and the adoption of a new electoral law;

5. repeated their call on all sides concerned to ensure that the International Advisory Panel as proposed by the Secretary General be enabled to begin its work;

6. having regard to the request made by the Ukrainian authorities, decided in accordance with paragraph 36 of Resolution Res(97)10 of the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, to instruct the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention to review the situation of national minorities in Ukraine and to report back on its findings as soon as possible;

7. requested the Secretary General to rapidly submit proposals for assistance to the Ukrainian authorities for the preparation of the forthcoming Presidential elections scheduled for 25 May 2014 ;

8 welcomed the Secretary General’s decision to submit the question of the legality of the referendum called for by the local authorities in the autonomous Republic of Crimea to the Venice Commission; expressed grave concern regarding the intention to hold a referendum on the status of Crimea not authorised by Ukraine;

9. decided to resume consideration of this item at their next meeting.

1192bis meeting – 26 February 2014

Item 1.2

Situation in Ukraine
(CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.3, DD(2014)218, DD(2014)221 and DD(2014)268)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. expressed their solidarity with Ukraine and its people and underlined the importance of maintaining the efforts towards a political solution in the country within a democratic context;

2. recalled their governments’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and in particular to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine;

3. underlined that the reforms undertaken in Ukraine should be conducted in an all-inclusive manner, fully respect the principle of the rule of law and comply with the country’s commitments to the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and the other Council of Europe conventions to which Ukraine is party, in particular the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;

4. called on all sides concerned to ensure that the International Advisory Panel as proposed by the Secretary General be enabled to begin its work on the basis of a mandate reflecting the current situation;

5. invited Ukraine to draw on the Council of Europe’s expertise when preparing the important reforms to come, starting with the revision of the Constitution and of the electoral legislation;

6. requested the Secretary General to revise, as appropriate, the Action Plan with Ukraine and to reinforce the Council of Europe presence in Kyiv in order to provide the necessary assistance during this transition period.

1192nd meeting – 19-21 February 2014

Item 1.3

Dialogue with the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General
(SG/Com(2014)1191, CM/Del/Dec(2014)1191/1.3, DD(2014)218, DD(2014)221, DD(2014)229, SG/Com(2014)1192 and SG/Inf(2014)10)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. took note of the communications of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General (SG/Com(2014)1191 and SG/Com(2014)1192) and the exchange of views under this item;

Regarding the situation in Ukraine

2. supported the Secretary General’s call of 18 February 2014 to put an immediate end to violence in Ukraine;

3. underlined the urgency of restoring a climate of confidence in Ukraine and of reestablishing political dialogue within the relevant institutions; consequently reiterated their call on all political forces in Ukraine to resolve the ongoing crisis with mutual consideration, through democratic and peaceful means and within the framework of the rule of law;

4. stressed that the investigations regarding the violent incidents which have taken place in Ukraine from 30 November 2013 onwards should be completed rapidly by the Ukrainian authorities through a transparent and impartial process;

5. urged the Ukrainian authorities to appoint their representative on the International Advisory Panel proposed by the Secretary General and to provide this Panel with all the necessary support so that it can without delay start its work, in accordance with its mandate, regarding the above-mentioned incidents;

6. expressed the continued readiness of the Council of Europe and its Venice Commission to provide at the request of the Ukrainian authorities all necessary assistance with a view to the revision of the Constitution and of the electoral law, in order to reach, through an inclusive process, a solution in line with Council of Europe standards and acceptable for all in Ukraine;

7. supported the preliminary conclusions of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights presented to the Committee of Ministers during the last meeting and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to closely work with the Commissioner in the follow-up.

1187bis meeting – 18 December 2013

Item 2.1 bis

Current political questions

- Statement by the Committee of Ministers on the situation in Ukraine

- Statement by the Committee of Ministers on the recent executions in Japan and the United States of America

Decisions

The Deputies adopted the Statement by the Committee of Ministers on the situation in Ukraine, as it appears at Appendix 3 to the present volume of Decisions;

Statement by the Committee of Ministers
on the situation in Ukraine

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 18 December 2013
at the 1187bis meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, representing its 47 member States, calls for dialogue among all political forces in Ukraine, urging them to resolve the ongoing crisis with mutual consideration and through democratic and peaceful means. It calls on the government as well as the opposition forces and the country's civil society to agree on a mutually acceptable resolution of the crisis.

The Committee welcomes the beginning of a dialogue in the form of National Round Tables with the participation of all political forces in Ukraine and the release of a number of people arrested during the clashes in Kyiv on 30 November and 1 December 2013.

The Committee expresses its full support for the recent initiative taken by the Secretary General, and accepted by both the authorities and the opposition in Ukraine, to promote confidence through an independent investigation into these incidents.

The Committee of Ministers recalls that the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Ukraine is a Party, must be guaranteed. This applies in particular to the freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression and information. The Committee calls on all parties in Ukraine to ensure full respect for these rights.

1187th meeting – 11-12 December 2013

Item 1.3

Dialogue with the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General

Decisions

The Deputies

1. authorised the Secretary General to use the funds of the “field missions reserve” to finance the Investigation Advisory Panel in Ukraine for a maximum amount of €65 000;

2. took note of the oral communication of the Deputy Secretary General and the exchange of views under this item.

1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.



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