The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its disappointment over the decision taken by the Serbian OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Secretary General, cancelling a photo-exhibition, scheduled for 19 March in the OSCE premises in Vienna and devoted to the illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by Russia one year ago.
The photo-exhibition was initiated jointly by the Ukrainian and the Lithuanian delegations to the OSCE to remind of the grave consequences of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine for the security in the OSCE region and the human rights situation in the occupied Crimea.
Holding photo-exhibitions is an established practice in the OSCE, used by delegations to draw attention to pressing issues from the OSCE agenda. While preparing to the event, the organizers followed recommendations of the Serbian Chairmanship and the OSCE Secretary General. In this regard, the decision, adopted on the eve of the exhibition’s opening, was entirely unexpected for both Ukrainian and Lithuanian sides.
It is our firm conviction that events in the OSCE cannot depend upon the position of one state, moreover when this state resorts to aggression against Ukraine and has occupied a part of its territory. We have to note that the OSCE values have been endangered again due to the threats and blackmail by the Russian Federation, which prove to be traditional tools for the Russian diplomacy.