All Articles containing the tag: CRIMEA CRISIS

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


INTERVIEW with Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor: Political will has to be translated into operational instructions on the ground
Photo: OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka
24 February 2015 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

INTERVIEW with Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor: Political will has to be translated into operational instructions on the ground

On 12 February 2015 a package of measures was agreed in Minsk, which serves as an implementation plan of the September 2014 Minsk Agreements. The package of measures was signed by the Contact Group, after the so-called Normandy group of states (consisting of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France) engaged in marathon negotiations in Minsk in order to bring an end to renewed bloodshed and fighting in eastern Ukraine. In this interview, Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine states that on 21 February OSCE monitors were able to enter Debaltseve for the first time. He also explains why he believes that additional technological equipment could help the unarmed civilian monitoring mission to perform its tasks efficiently, especially in light of the volatile security situation. In his opinion, what is needed the most though is that political will is translated into operational instructions on the ground.

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The Ukraine crisis and the issue of national minorities
Photo: OSCE/Arnaud Roelofsz
30 June 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 2

The Ukraine crisis and the issue of national minorities

National minorities are a political and social fact in Europe and many other parts of the world. In Europe, the issue of national minorities became particularly acute after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 as well as more recently after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s. The newly created independent states became hosts to national minorities: for example, the Baltic States and Ukraine to a Russian minority, Romania to a Hungarian minority, Croatia to a Serb minority and vice versa, just to name a few.

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In the right place at the right time: Use the OSCE to defuse the crisis in Ukraine
Photo: OSCE/Jonathan Perfect
5 March 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

In the right place at the right time: Use the OSCE to defuse the crisis in Ukraine

The corridors of the Hofburg were unusually crowded with diplomats and filled with journalists when the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship convened a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council (PC) on 3 March in Vienna. When it became known during the weekend that US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had suggested to Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring in the OSCE to help ease growing tensions in Ukraine and especially the Crimean peninsula, all previous efforts by the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship to promote the OSCE's role in the Ukrainian crisis seemed to have paid off. In my previous blog entry of 15 February I made a strong case for the OSCE helping settle the crisis in Ukraine not only because the Organization has the expertise and ideal tools available to do so but also because the current Swiss OSCE Chairmanship is in an ideal position to lead such efforts. It seems several leaders are starting to share this view.

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Can the OSCE help to settle the political crisis in Ukraine?
Photo: FDFA / Presence Switzerland
15 February 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Can the OSCE help to settle the political crisis in Ukraine?

The leaked recording of a phone call last week between Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the US State Department and Geoffrey Pyatt, US ambassador to Ukraine unequivocally revealed US frustration with the EU’s handling of the political crisis in Ukraine. The expletive used by Victoria Nuland to vent her anger leaves no doubt in this regard. The recording also highlighted Washington’s preference for a stronger engagement of the UN and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy to “help glue this thing”. Certainly there are arguments for and against an increased UN role in Ukraine.

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