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26 January, 1999
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Ukraines Foreign Ministry Condemns Violence In Kosovo

On January 19, 1999, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine released a statement concerning recent events in Kosovo. The Foreign Ministry deplored the aggravation of tensions in the province which led to heavy casualties among the civilians. It expressed its concern over the growing number and scale of armed clashes. The Foreign Ministry is particularly worried by the danger it creates to life of the members of the OSCE Verification Mission. It has also expressed its disapproval of the ultimatum of the Yugoslav authorities to the head of the Mission demanding that he leave the country, and the unwillingness of the government to allow international investigation of the massacres that took place in the province.

The unilateral steps undertaken by the Yugoslav side against the head of the Mission violate its obligations before the OSCE and create a dangerous precedent. Only constructive cooperation of the Yugoslav side with the International Verification Mission will allow the international experts to evaluate the circumstances of the dramatic events at Racak and prevent further aggravation of the situation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine supports the decision of the Security Council of January 18, 1999. It condemns the attempts at violent resolution of the Kosovo problem and acts of terrorism. It also denounce the attempts to undermine the process of peaceful settlement and renew a wide-scale fighting in the province. The sides to the conflict have to refrain from hostilities, renew the negotiation process and adhere unconditionally to the obligations undertaken by them regarding safety of the International Verification Mission personnel.

Ukraine has consistently supported political settlement of the situation in Kosovo on the principles of territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, wide autonomy for the province, and adherence to human rights and rights of national minorities.

Ukraine is actively involved in the international efforts on the Balkans, in particular in the Kosovo crisis management, and it is ready to continue to facilitate peace making efforts in the region and extend its participation in them.


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