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OSCE Chair-in-Office Minister Ian Borg completes visit to Ukraine, reaffirms OSCE’s steadfast support as country faces dire effects of Russia’s war

KYIV, 3 February 2024 - The OSCE Chair-in-Office, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta Ian Borg, completed his visit to Ukraine.

In Kyiv, the Chair-in-Office Minister Borg met with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba.

“My first visit as Chair-in-Office reinforces our unequivocal and unwavering commitment to support Ukraine and to keep Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine at the top of the OSCE agenda. Every death is a tragedy and too many lives have been lost in this senseless war,” Borg said.

Throughout the Chairpersonship, Malta will continue to place strong emphasis on the urgent need to bring this war to an end, while at the same time find practical solutions to assist Ukraine and its people. The Chair-in-Office reiterated that the Organization remains engaged and committed to support the government, civil society and people of Ukraine, including through the OSCE’s extra-budgetary Support Programme for Ukraine (SPU), as the magnitude of the destruction caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to worsen.

“The OSCE will continue to support Ukraine in addressing multiple and unprecedented challenges the country is facing due to the ongoing war against it. The OSCE has tools such as the Moscow Mechanism to establish facts on the violation of the OSCE’s core principles and can contribute to the accountability of the perpetrators. I am convinced that our Organization has a pivotal role to play in Ukraine. We commend the important work of the Support Programme for Ukraine’s team and pledge our support for even more engagement,” Minister Borg said.

During his visit, Chair-in-Office Borg was accompanied by the Special Representative of the CiO – Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, Ambassador Marcel Peško. Minister Borg also met SPU staff to express his appreciation for the dedication and hard work each of them brings to the Organization.

“One issue that weighs heavily on our collective conscience is the unjust and illegal detention of the three staff members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Our thoughts are with them and their families during this challenging time. We are concerned about their health and safety and join the Secretary General in her call on Russia for their immediate release,” Minister Borg stressed. 

Chair-in-Office Minister Borg underscored the need to continue demonstrating unity as an organization to advocate for their immediate release while standing in absolute solidarity with them and their families.

Above all, Minister Borg emphasised that the OSCE must remain anchored in the principles and commitments to which all the participating States agreed to, with a view to restoring peace and security in our region.

The OSCE’s extrabudgetary (ExB) Support Programme for Ukraine (SPU) was launched on 1 November 2022 in order to address the immediate challenges to civilians posed by the war against Ukraine and to support the long-term democratic and social resilience of the country’s institutions and civil society.

The Programme comprises projects that build on the OSCE’s prior work with its long-standing partners and covers a wide range of areas, such as humanitarian demining, addressing chemical threats, monitoring of environmental damage from the war and supporting the reform efforts of the Ukrainian government.