I also welcome Ambassador Villadsen back to the Permanent Council and want to reiterate Norway’s firm support to the OSCE Project Co-Ordinator’s valuable work in Ukraine. As the only OSCE field mission still present on the ground in Ukraine, your role is of utmost importance for our Organization, and for Ukraine.
We acknowledge the challenging circumstances the Project Co-Ordinator has been and is working under. The agility shown to adapt to circumstance is admirable. We are very grateful to you Ambassador Villadsen, and your brave team, for staying put in Ukraine and continue working on your programmes and projects within all three OSCE dimensions. You are indeed delivering results to the benefit of the people in Ukraine. It is a solid proof to the continued relevance of your Mission.
Throughout 23 years of working in Ukraine, the PCU has accumulated an enormous experience and expertise. We agree with ambassador Villadsen that there will still be a need for continued OSCE engagement in Ukraine when this war comes to an end. It would certainly be a need for the PCU’s excellent network in Ukrainian society and its expert knowledge about project implementation.
Norway would like to express its strong support to the mandate of the OSCE Project Co-Ordinator in Ukraine and to underline the important role that we would have seen for this Mission also in the future.
We deeply regret that one participating State, Russia, does not agree to extend the mandate, and thus also deeply regret that the closing of the mission is initiated. This is a sad day, and it is indeed unacceptable that just one participating state can block the continuation of a mission in another state, and particularly when the decision is based on false accusations. The OSCE is indeed more needed in Ukraine than ever before.
Please give our compliments and gratitude to the staff of the PCU for the efforts. We wish you and your team all success in their future endeavors.