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Lajčák Visits Ukraine as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

Lajčák Visits Ukraine as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

13.6.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo Slovenska v OBSE |

Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), visited Ukraine today (13 June 2019). Following his visit to Kiev in January and to the contact line in Donbas, this is his second visit to this country as both Minister and the OSCE Chairman this year, during the Slovak chairmanship of  this important international organization.
 

The core topic on Minister Lajčák’s agenda today was the talks with the newly-elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. The partners discussed especially the resolution of the crisis in the east of Ukraine and the role of the OSCE in this process.  “Ukraine has been of special importance for the stability in Europe. A safe, democratic and prospering Ukraine is in the interest of everybody,” emphasized Lajčák. He added that the OSCE plays a key role in settling the crisis in the east of the country.  “Our Chairmanship in this organization focuses on concrete steps that we can take in this process,” stated the Minister. 
 

The head of Slovak diplomacy also talked with a former President of Ukraine and the current head of the Ukrainian delegation of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Leonid Kuchma.  “The TCG still plays a very important role in this crucial moment – especially if we take into account the regularity of its meetings, the fact that all the parties sit at the same table, as well as the fact that the issues that the working groups tackle directly relate to civilians,” stated Lajčák. In Kiev Lajčák also met with representatives of the OSCE mission active in the country. 
 

During his talks with his counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, Minister Lajčák drew attention to the issue of unexploded munitions that still cost many innocent people their lives. “A huge number of people in Donbas became victims of mines. The military reasoning in the field still prevails and new munitions are still being loaded there. This must stop. The recent law on the usage of mines, which was adopted by Verchovna Rada in April, can be the start of efforts in humanitarian demining, which I welcome very much,” stated the head of Slovak diplomacy. 
 

The visit of the Minister Lajčák comes symbolically on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the office of the Project Coordinator in Ukraine (PCU). Slovakia has repeatedly provided Ukraine with humanitarian aid and also supported several OSCE projects not foreseen in the budget that were realized by means of the PCU. On this occasion Slovakia, in the context of its OSCE Chairmanship, will provide Ukraine with demining equipment as a part of the PCU project “Building Capabilities of Ukraine for Humanitarian Demining” valued at EUR 280,000, to which also the Slovak Republic contributed financially. 

 

The resolution of the crisis in Ukraine is one of the priorities of Slovakia’s Chairmanship in the OSCE this year.  On the initiative of Lajčák and based on his talks, nine concrete initiatives were created that focus on mitigating the negative impacts on the inhabitants on both sides of the contact line, who are immediately affected by the conflict. Therefore, Lajčák’s visit to Kiev today is an opportunity to search for ways in which these initiatives could be realized in cooperation with other international organizations and local stakeholders.