Statement on the report of the chief observer of the OSCE observer mission at Gukovo and Donetsk

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 28 October 2021.

Madame Chairperson,

Norway welcomes Ambassador Varga to the Permanent Council. Sadly, it is his last appearance in the capacity of Chief Observer of the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk. Once again, we thank him for a detailed and insightful report.

We are very grateful for the vital work ambassador Varga and his team of observers have carried out. Ambassador, you have provided the participating States with accurate information and facts relevant to the crisis in and around Ukraine. You have with diligence and perseverance acted on the task given to you by this very Permanent Council on 24 July 2014. You and your staff have been able to be operational also throughout the 1,5 months of the covid-19 pandemic.

Madame Chairperson,

Norway would have wanted the Border Observation Mission to continue its activities, despite its limited mandate and the severe restrictions on its daily work. Effective and comprehensive monitoring of the Ukrainian-Russian border is crucial for greater transparency and confidence building and an integral part of the efforts aimed at fostering stability and security in the region.

Let me conclude by repeating our sincere gratitude to Ambassador Varga and his team for the professionalism they have displayed in their work during the last seven years and in handling the discontinuation of the Mission’s activity. I wish them all success in their future endeavours.

Thank you.