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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 20, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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foreign ministers meet on the first and second of april. i agree that we should step up our assistance to ukraine and i'm sure it will happen. >> thanks. i'm trying to collect questions. i see hands coming up. the gentleman here at the aisle. if people keep their hands up, i'm trying to keep track, please. thank you. >> you have explained very effectively the logic of suspending cooperation under the nato-russia council. how would you respond to two counterarguments to that? the first being that that cooperation is as much a nato interest as it is a russian interest. and the second, perhaps more important counterargument, that perhaps it is precisely a moment of conflict and disagreement that institutionalized contact
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between the two sides most valuable. >> and the gentleman here at the aisle? just one second. next time around. thank you. >> this year marks -- and first of all, congratulations on your hillary clinton award this morning. fiona mentioned a few anniversaries, but this marks the 100th anniversary of world war i. you welcomed a delegation from bosnia i think a couple of days ago and macedonia's prime minister recently. what kind of message will the upcoming summit send on enlargement? will there be a breakthrough on the macedonia-greece dispute in europe opinion and perhaps a visit to the region, if enlargement is not deliverable at the uk summit, will you visit all the four country sths because i think we learned the mistakes of bucharest with georgia and ukraine. luckily nothing of that sort has happened on macedonia.
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but hopefully nothing does happen. so thank you. >> thank you. first, on the nato russia-council. actually, i think we struck the right balance in what we have done so far. because you're right. during a crisis, it is important to keep open a channel for dialogue. so that's why we have suspended practical cooperation with russia, while we have kept the nato-russia council as such open for dialogue. and actually, we have had a meeting already at ambassadors' level within the nato-russia council. i can tell you, it was not a pleasant meeting with 28 allies conveying a very clear message to the russian ambassador. but i think it was a useful meeting. so that underlines your point,
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that during a crisis, we need to keep open these channels for dialogue. and that's exactly what we have done. but on the other hand, i also think the russian behavior must have consequences. i mean, when i study the founding documents that create the framework for our partnership with russia, i can see russia, of all the fundamental principles. among those principles, we have stated that we will not use force against each other or any other. obviously they did. in 2010, at the nato-russia summit in lisbon, we declared that it's our mission to develop a true sta terategic partnershi
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between russia and nato. i'm a strong believer in that. basically, i think we share interests. but when i witness the current russian behavior, i ask myself, should russia be considered a partner or an adversary? i have to ask that question. and many allies ask that question. so that's why we can't continue business as usual. but i think we struck the right balance in the way we dealt with this. and, and we have done it in such a manner that it opens a possibility to step up sanctions, so to speak, if the situation warrants that. now, on our open door policy and perspectives of enlargement, we have four partners that have declared aspirations to become future nato members.
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georgia, montenegro, the former yugoslav plug of macedonia. this is merit-based. countries must fulfill certain criteria before they can join our alliance. we have agreed on a procedure so that decisions on how we will address the open door policy will not be made now, but later in the run-up to the summit. we will update individual assessment of each of the four aspirant countries before foreign ministers meet by the end of june, and then forevers will take decisions by the end of june. so it would be premature to present any assessment as to how
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we will deal with each of the four aspirant countries. what is clear is that the process is merit-based and each individual aspirant country will be judged upon its own merits. but i think they all realize that they still have work to do, but having said that, i'm clear ly -- my position is very clear. i think the progress they have made should be appropriately reflected at the summit. it wouldn't be sufficient just to reiterate what we have said previously on our open door policy. and of course, what we have seen from the russian side may also
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have an impact on the final decisions on how we will address the open door policy and not to be misunderstood, i think it's essential that we provide aspirant countries with a clear euroatlantic perspective. >> thank you. i have a question here, the gentleman with the pink red tie. and this gentleman over here, afterwar afterwards. sir. >> mr. rasmussen, does the situation bring a new sense of urgency for nato to accelerate with the enlargement protests, the situation in ukraine, send a
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letter to secretary of state kerry urging him to support membership, especially for macedonia and for montenegro at your summit of nato. thank you. >> thank you. and this gentleman against the wall here. we need a microphone for purposes of recording. >> mr. rasmussen, you just mentioned that the first joint operation with the russians to evacuate chemical weapons from syria will be aborted, will be stopped. could you be a bit more specific about this? and is it a good idea to do this, would be my second question. and brief third question, don't you think now crimea is finally, well, part of russia, so to say? don't you think the situation now will quiet down and should nato react well, also in those terms, that you see that the russians are toning down their rhetoric and situation will become a bit more peaceful. but that's probably wishful
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thinking. what's your take on this? >> thank you. >> first, on enlargement. you ask me in concrete terms whether ongoing events would accelerate enlargement. let me stress once again any enlargement process is merit-based. there's no shortcut to membership of nato. applicant countries must fulfill certain criteria. and that's -- i mean, for all four aspirant countries, the fact is that they do not yet fulfill all necessary criteria.
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now, you ask specifically about the former yugoslav republic of macedonia. already in 2008, we decided at the nato summit in bucharest that we are ready to extend an invitation to accept a negotiation. once a mutually satisfied answer has been found, that decision still stands. so once the name issue has been solved, we are ready to start negotiations. unfortunately, we have not seen any, any progress since 2008, which i strongly regret. and, i mean, for each country, there is specific issues and we deal with them individually.
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montenegro, for instance, is a positive story. they have made a lot of progress, carried through a lot of reforms, but still there is a need for further reforms of their security sector, strengthened efforts against organized crime and corruption. bosnia -- we have granted them a condition-based membership plan. it will be activated as soon as the bosnians carry through some very modest reforms related to defense property. i won't go into details. but jeff mentioned that since we did that in 2010, we haven't seen any progress. i met yesterday with a member of the president of bosni
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bosnia-hertzegovena. but they have not been able to reach an agreement on this very, very modest requirement. we have seen a lot of progress. they have conducted successful parliamentary and presidential elections. they have reformed their defense sector, but still have things to do within their security sector, and also when it comes to their judiciary. so just to stress that certain conditions must be fulfilled, and there's no shortcut and ongoing events will not change that. but, of course, we all keep in mind strategic implications of the events in crimea and ukraine, and faced with a more
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assertive russian attitude, it is of utmost importance that we in the euro-atlantic organizations provide partners with a realistic and credible euro-atlantic alternative to the russian pressure. that's my clear position. as you know, the american vessel cabaret will carry out the task to destroy certain chemicals. those chemicals have not been -- i mean, they have not left syria yet, so that's one problem. but we have prepared everything to provide effective protection during that process.
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suggested it could be -- the first ever. but now we have suspended it. you ask me, is it a good idea? let me stress, it will not affect the destruction of chemicals. that destruction will still take place. the ship will be appropriately protected. but without russian participation. that's all. >> there was a final point -- >> oh, the wishful thinking. [ laughter ] i think it is wishful thinking in a way. because my major concern is that this won't stop. crimea is one example, but i see crimea as an element in a
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greater pattern. in more long term, the russian or at least putin strategy, so of course our major concern now is whether he will go beyond crimea, whether russia will intervene in the eastern parts -- >> he said he won't. >> yes. [ laughter ] and? so, we are vigilant. we have seen a pattern -- i mean, if you have a look at the whole region, you see protracted frozen conflicts.
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now maybe in reforment, still. i would add to this also -- and if you look at all of this, you will see an overall russian strategy. it shows their long-term strategic interest to keep instability in that region. that can be used, among other things, to prevent countries in that region to seek euro-atlantic integration. that's my major concern. >> thank you. i fear because we've only got five minutes left that it may be difficult to get to all the questions. there's a cluster of three people over here, starting with the gentleman with the glasses, the lady behind him, and the other gentleman -- the gentleman with the glasses closest to the window first, the lady behind you, and then back to you. i was trying to keep the three of you together. >> i am a second year undergraduate at george washington university. my question today is in regards to nato's nuclear declaratory policy and the prospects for reducing reliance on nuclear
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weapons in nato's grander security policy. as obviously from the united states' perspective, as long as the u.s. tactical weapons remain deployed in europe, all of nato has a stake in their security. so how does the debate over nato nuclear policy and non-strategic nuclear weapons deployed both by nato and russia also fit in to september's agenda? >> thanks very much. if you'll just pass the microphone to the lady behind you. thank you. >> hi. rachel oswald, national journal. my question kind of follows that. there was a recent congressional report that found that the pentagon's time schedule for achieving certain missile defense capabilities in romania and poland against medium missiles could be too optimistic. what are your thoughts on that conclusion? >> thanks. and the gentleman who originally had the microphone. >> as the united states and the
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european union are negotiating the transatlantic trade and investment partnership, the so-called economic nato, don't you think that it's essential that we have a transatlantic conversation when it comes to security, to a greater extent that the eu has delivered in december, and then secondly, with the departure of the last u.s. tank in april from europe and the end of the isef mission in afghanistan, don't you think that it's essential that nato re-examines its role in the 21st century? don't you think that the alliance maybe needs to reinvent itself as it did after the end of the cold war? thank you very much. >> thank you. >> yep. interesting questions. first, on our nuclear policy. we adopted a new strategic
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concept in 2010 and also in that strategic concept addressed the nuclear question. we declared that we subscribe to the long-term vision of a world without nuclear weapons. actually, that's not breaking news, because most of the countries in the world subscribe to that vision already in 1970, when they signed the non-proliferation treaty. so we all committed to that long-term vision of a world without nuclear weapons. we also declared that we will work hard to create the conditions for fulfilling that vision. but, having said that, we added that as long as nuclear weapons exist, nato will remain a nuclear alliance.
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now, we have also declared that we are ready to engage in negotiations on a reduction of the number of nuclear weapons. including tactical nuclear weapons. but we have added that it should take place in a balanced manner. and the fact is, that since the end of the cold war, nato countries have reduced the arsenal of nuclear weapons drastically. i emphasize drastically. while we have not seen a similar reduction on the russian side. so there you see a huge stockpile of russian nuclear weapons and clearly an imbalance. so we shouldn't be naive. so while we will work towards a
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reduction in the number of nuclear weapons, we also need more transparency. and we need to reduce in a balanced manner. so that's our clear position. now, of course, i cannot exclude that the events we have witnessed in crimea will also have an impact on the thinking about arms control, including nuclear policies. on missile defense. according to all information i have got, there won't be any change of the timetable as regards to the development of the nato missile defense system, including the establishment of facilities in romania and
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poland. and the timeline is that we intend to provide full coverage by 2018, and so far, i haven't seen any indications of changes in that plan. finally, on the transatlantic relationship, i agree that the transatlantic trade and investment partnership should actually be seen as what we might call the economic nato. the interesting thing is that it has been foreseen already in the nato treaty article 2, that we should strengthen economic cooperation within or among allies. and actually, i see the t tip as
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an implementation of that article. now, following that, i also agree that we need more european contributions to our common security. but actually, i think the european council meeting in december was a remarkable step forward. among other things, because the european council focused on european investments and certain capabilities, among them drones, joint intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, but in specific terms drones. also, air refueling, which was one of the lessons learned from our leap year operation. they also mentioned cyber and satellite communication. so for the fir tist time, the european council has committed to increasing european
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investments in much-needed military capabilities. i consider that a very welcome step forward. but having said that, let me reiterate what i said in my introduction today. the ukraine crisis and what we have seen in crimea has been a wake-up call, and it must be followed by increased european investments in defense, if we are to ensure a credible deterrent and collect a defense in the future. and finally, on nato's role. well, daily i witness statements that reflect nato's success. every day right now during this crisis, i see expressions of
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gratitude among eastern allies. gratitude that they are actually members of our alliance. i don't think they see a strong need for redefining the role of nato. they became members of nato, to ensure effective defense and protection. they've got it. they're grateful for that. as we draw down our operation in afghanistan, we open new opportunities to actually address emerging security challenges in a much more efficient manner, in modern abilities, enhanced cyber defense, development at nato missile defense.
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so no need to reinvent or redefine the role of nato. our core task remains the same, namely to provide effective defense of our populations and our territories, and actually the most effective defense is a strong and determined deterrent. that has been the essence of nato since it was established in 1949 and it will remain the core task. >> well, secretary-general, that seems a fitting end to the time, which has unfortunately run out. we really appreciate you spending this past hour with us. we understand, of course, that we have to move off very quickly. so again, if everyone could stay in their seats until the secretary-general has left. thank you very much, sir, at this very difficult time for spending an hour with us. thank you for answering the questions. a round of applause for the secretary-general. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> during wednesday's question time in the british parliament, prime minister david cameron and opposition leader ed mill band talked about the ukraine and sanctions against russia. here is a little of what they said. >> i think the prime minister for that answer. the white house has indicated that their sanctions will be standard. i'm sure the whole house will support the idea, the list of ukrainian and russian officials will be extended to the e.u. council tomorrow. the circumstances which will be supporting also additional economic and trade sanctions on the russian trade federation. >> as we discussed in the house,
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the european union sent out some very clear triggers. if the russians did not take part in a contact group then asset freezes and travel bans should follow. those have been put in place at the foreign affairs council on monday and i believe further action on that front should be taken on thursday. i also think we should be responding to the fact of this annexation that we said if there was further action to destabilize the ukraine and thisan annex saying that action, further consequences need to follow. we need to set that out in concert with our european partners and at the same time we need to put down a very clear warning if there was further destabilization, for instance, going into the eastern ukraine, then we would move to the position of sorts of economic sanctions that we discussed.
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>> you will have our support for the toughest possible diplomatic and toughest economic measures against russian federation. i also welcome the announcement yesterday that the gmp-7 ally also gather next reek in the hague. it seems inconceivable that they could remain in the g-8. this meeting should go further and decide to suspend russia from the group of g-8 economies. >> it was unthinkable for the g-8 to go as planned. i strongly support the g 7 -- ng of cups that will countries that will take place on monday. i think we should be discussing who were the to expel russia permanently from the g-8 if further steps are taken. that is the meeting we will have monday. >> on the next washington
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ournal, a look at the role of nato. with mark jacobson. the chief washington correspondent for yahoo! news does -- joins us to discuss foreign policy and how for -- and we will focus on janet yellen's plans for the federal reserve. washington journal of live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. you can join the conversation on acebook and twitter. >> mr. speaker, just a few weeks ago, this house voted against funding for the contras. we decided against contra funding because we decided it is against american tradition to fund a private army whose goal is to overthrow another government. we felt it was against american
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tradition to sponsor killing of civilians. we felt it is against american tradition to abandon the strength of our ideas and replace them only with the strength of our arsenal. now just a few weeks later, we are facing another contra vote. why? it is because daniel ortega went to moscow. i'm not happy about any nation turning to the soviets for economic help. that does not change the contra issue. our president calls them freedom fighters. who are these contras? e vast majority are former somosa men who never believed in freedom. to give so-called humanitarian aid to an inhuman army is a erversion.
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i will give you an answer. a woman, four months pregnant was killed at a state-owned coffee farm by the contras. she was wounded first, her face shattered by a grenade. a deep knife wound in her side with the unborn fetus protruding. many other unarmed civilians were slaughtered by the contras with their throats cut. ugly, yes. we must face this. sure there is violence on the left, too. which america's watch state is ecreasing. the violence on both sides must stop. the way to stop it is not by supporting a private army who wants to overthrow a government of the country the size of iowa. by doing what america does vest best. negotiating a peaceful
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settlement with the democrat nations taking the lead. the way to stop the violence is to support the amendments. the gephardt amendment. the hamilton amendment. let us not have the blood of our dust the innocent on our hands and escalate the involvement of american troops to central america. i say vote against the michael amendment. find more highlights on our facebook page. c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you first by your cable and anxiety provider. >> the un security council voted to discuss ukraine. this portion of the meeting is an hour.
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>> the meeting is called to order. the provisional agenda for this -- of ukraine to the united nations addressed to the president of the security council reference as slash 2014-136. the agenda is adopted.
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>> in accordance with rule 37 on the provisional rules of procedure, i won invite the representatives of the ukraine to participate. t is so decided. in accordance with rule 39, i invite the secretary-general for human rights to participate. it is so decided. the security council will now begin its consideration of item two of the agenda. i wish to welcome the deputy secretary general. give him the floor. >> madame president, members of he security council. my statement today will briefly focus on the continuing efforts of the u.n. with regard to the crisis in the ukraine. as well as the latest developments of the briefing of the council by the ndersecretary on march 13. he secretary-general is on his
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y to moscow and to kiev as part of the effort. he will pursue discussions on both capitals on political and diplomatic solutions to the crisis. in advance of his travel, he spoke with ukraine's prime inister. since the briefing to the council, the secretary-general has continued to engage with key actors with the aim of the scalating the situation. deescalating the situation. during my recent mission to ukraine, i stated the importance of inclusive government and the need to preserve a multiethnic ukraine. as you have seen from his public statements, the secretary-general has received this repeatedly counseled against actions that can lead to unintended consequences. y mission to ukraine was
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ollowed by that of assistant secretary general to human ights. given the volatility of the situation, he extended his ission to ukraine. in the meantime, a human rights mission is being deployed. in order to have an objective assessment of what is happening on the ground. he will take the floor after me to brief on his work in ukraine nd the monitoring mission.
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we have coordinated our efforts with the organization to provide monitors to ukraine. madam president, i wish to recall that during my mission to ukraine, i brief the council on march 4 from kiev. i reported a country grappling with security and economic challenges. the crisis appears only to have deepened since then. instead of de-escalation, tensions continue to rise. the crimean authorities decided to hold a referendum on the 16th f march. 97% of those who voted did so in favor of crime area -- crimea sis -- crimea's secession.
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subsequently, crimea declared independence which was recognized by the russian ederation. on the 17th of march, the european union and the u.s. applied sanctions against russian and crimean officials. on 18th of march, president putin went ahead with a treaty to make crimea a part of the ussian federation. at the same time, the government in ukraine has vowed to never accept crimea's independents, stating crimea is an an integral part of ukraine. yesterday ukraine's prime minister expressed concern that the conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage.
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this followed reports that ukrainian -- a ukrainian officer was killed. in front of a military base. following this incident, the eputy prime minister and defense minister plan to travel to crimia today. this underscores the dire need immediate opening of direct dialogue between moscow and kiev. reports are emerging that two naval bases have been taken over by pro-russian forces or unidentified groups. hile initial reports suggest that the seizers of the bases have come without bloodshed, such developments carry risks. the secretary general has underlined the importance of avoiding provocative action and refrain from incitement.
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these events have heightened tensions and add new layer of complexity to a precarious situation. we are now faced with risks of a dangerous further escalation that could have ramifications for security. serious significance for this council and for the united nations. madam president, in a wider perspective, we should recall that the russian federation and kraine remain neighbors. with complex political ties. it is our view that it is in the interests of all of us that these nations have positive ties with each other and the egion. the first up in that direction has to be replaced with de-escalation and restraint in the present crisis. i would like to close by quoting some of the secretary general's key messages.
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i quote, we are at a crossroads. if positions continue to harden and rhetoric sharpens, there is a risk of a dangerous downward spiral. the focus must be to engage in direct dialogue between moscow and kiev. aimed at specific measures that will pave the way to a diplomatic solution agreed although it has proved elusive, the path to a peaceful esolution is still open. it is in this spirit that he now embarks on his mission to moscow nd kiev. the u.n. will continue to play its role promoting dialogue for a peaceful and joint resolution of this crisis. it has now become more serious than ever. thank you.
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>> i want to thank him for his statement. i will now give the floor. >> madam president, distinguished members of the council. thank you for this opportunity to brief you on my mission to ukraine. i join the deputy secretary general. my mandate was to make an initial assessment of the human rights situation. work towards the de-escalation of tensions. make recommendations on the way forward. i met with individuals from across the cultural, ethnic, linguistic spectrum. including officials.
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civil society organizations representing various communities. victims of human rights iolations. as well as members of regional organizations and diplomatic communities. my team has collected numerous written materials. i was not able to go to crimea as the authorities there initially would not receive the mission. eventually, on sunday, i received an invitation to visit. i hope that a visit to crimea, possibly by the head of the u.n. uman rights monitoring commission, will soon take place. i welcome the request made by the independent expert on minority issues to visit ukraine and hope that the mission will
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take place as soon as possible. contribute to decreasing tensions. let me say something on chronicle violations. chronic human rights violations were a reason for the people in ukraine in recent months. there have been concerns about weak rule of law. lack of accountability. resulting impunity. the right to a fair trial. equal access to justice. cases of torture and ill-treatment. all matters of long-standing concern. the lack of independence of the judiciary must be remedied. reform of the security sector and the prosecutors's office are urgent tasks. corruption is a problem that affects rule of law. this also needs to be addressed swiftly. reforms and policy measures must
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be adopted without a spirit of revenge. they must be transparent and inclusive. it is crucial to ensure that one does not respond to human rights violations with other human rights violations. in the context of ongoing legislative measures, these must fully respect human rights and rule of law. including rights individual review and to appeal. let me now move to protest related violations. in the context of recent protests, i'm deeply concerned about human rights violations including excessive use of force and extrajudicial killings, torture, disappearances, and arbitrary arrests and detentions. the actions of snipers are of particular concern and needs to be fully investigated. more than hundred people, mostly protesters, but also members of
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security forces have also lost their lives and many more were injured. i visited protest-related victims in hospital and i also spoke with physicians in makeshift hospitals, including the current minister of health. all of them confirm that sniper killings of protesters were undertaken in an execution-style aiming for heads and chests. the perpetrators of these and other human rights violations against all victims must we promptly brought to justice, whatever their background, status or affiliation, following independent, impartial and thorough investigations. let me turn now to ongoing violations and the way to address them. i have urged all authorities to ensure inclusive committee in governance and, while ensuring
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freedom of expression, to curb hate speech. ukraine is a multicultural and a ultiling gistic country. all views should be expressed freely in a democracy as long as the expression does not incite hatred and violence against others. any attempt of escalation of violence and hatred should be prevented or stopped when it has occurred before it escalates into further violence. it is incumbent on our authorities to ensure equal protection for all, especially of minority groups. the hasty repeal of the law on languages by parliament was a mistake. the decision of parliament was not approved by the acting president so the old law will continue to be enforced while
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the new text is prepared. this process should be done in full concentration with all concerned and the fully anticipatory, transparent, and inclusive. during my visit, i met with a wide range of representatives of civil society, including representatives of ethnic russians. there seem to be some cases where members of the russian minority have been harassed or even attacked, such as in the case of the attack against a member of parliament. all allegations of human rights violations in particular against minorities have to be thoroughly investigated. however, it seems that these violations are neither widespread nor systematic. have serious concerns about the situation in crimea where the situation remains tense with respect to protection of human rights. i have met with victims of
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arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment and other human rights violations. i spoke with representatives of this place in laviv. i am deeply concerned about the human rights of those who were in recent political events in crimea. it has been recently reported that a crimean activist on third march was found dead on 16 march in a forest. according to reports from credible sources, his body bore marks that suggest he had been subject to mistreatment. in addition to cases of violence between various clinical
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ukrainian and russian groups with the alleged participation of groups from outside of the region resulting in recent deaths and injuries, the spreading of rumors, including through the media, part ticket -- particularly in eastern ukraine, is adding to an increased anxiety among the population. i understand that this is partly due to rumors apperception about authorities would insure policies and inclusive government and protect and support the use of russian language. there is an urgent need for independent monitors to objectively assess and report on human rights violations as well as on the implications of recent events and to monitor the current human rights situation throughout the country. an independent, objective establishment of facts and circumstances surrounding alleged human rights violations can help investigation, it -- can prevent further occurrence,
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and counter the spread of false information. we have received a request from the acting minister of foreign affairs of ukraine to dispatch human rights monitors and we had immediately begun their deployment the team will become -- be composed of nine international and some 25 ational staff. by friday, monitors will be in place. in the rollout of this mission, we will work closely with the ..e.c., which has plans both the deputy secretary general and i have had contact with leadership in this regard and this will be replicated on
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the ground. madam president, distinguished members of the security council, the united nations stand ready to help ensure human rights are respected and protected in ukraine with the support of international and regional organizations. in addition to monitoring the human rights situation, the united nations can assist by providing technical assistance for all legislative and other reforms necessary to ensure that recommendations received by kraine by the united nations human rights mechanisms are fully implemented so that they can effectively contribute to both peace and development efforts. thank you. >> i would like to thank him for his statement. and now i will give the floor to the representative of ukraine. >> madame president, distinguished members of the security council, ladies and
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gentlemen, thank you very much for convening this meeting. thank you for inviting me. i would like to start with expressing my gratitude to all of you will address my mission today with words of condolences to the family of the ukrainian soldier who was killed yesterday after being shot in his neck when a group of gunmen stormed the ukrainian military base. yesterday, foreign ministers protested against the provocative actions of the russian armed forces which caused the death of the ukrainian soldier. today, we observe the changes in the situation in crimea. unfortunately, these changes are ot for good. the illegitimate referendum on the issue of annexation of the territory of crimea by the
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russian federation was conducted in an expedited manner on march 16 shortly after the referendum, on march 18, the president of the russian federation signed the agreement which is supposed to be ratified by the parliament of the russian federation on march 25. we consider all of these asked to be illegitimate and we call upon the entire civilized world not to recognize the illegitimately declared in the -- independence of crimea. i would like to thank the deputy secretary-general, the assistant secretary-general for their important a thing about the situation with the human rights in ukraine. i would like to state only that
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the situation of human rights is taking place in the crimean peninsula which is under the total control of the legitimate authorities of crimea. first of all, there are serious reservations about the alleged preview of the population of ukraine. the armed forces have occupied rimea. some ballots were distributed to those who are not registered, including nationals of other countries. russian citizens were able to get a ballot for the referendum and in fact vote. those who did not come to polling stations were visited and escorted by police and orcing people to vote.
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journalists were banned despite having legitimate credentials. ballots were issued immediately after submitting replication for inclusion for supplementary lease without awarded the commission members in place. given the result of the illegal referendum because of the decision made by the boycott -- to boycott by the crimea in, about 3000 people, ethnic ukrainians, and national inorities of the crimea. i did not take part in that referendum. a referendum ballot provided to questions as options.
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neither of which provide for maintaining the dozen state of the economists -- the autonomous state of crimea but to annexed to russia. madam president, once again, i would like to -- on the illegality of the referendum self-proclaimed authorities in crimea held a referendum. the united nations charter, the council of [indiscernible] as well as other documents and the so-called agreement establishing the commonwealth of ndependent states. they failed to meet the democratic standards of eferendum developed.
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the declaration of independence by the crimean republic is a direct consequence of the application of the use of force and threats against ukraine by the russian federation. and in view of russian nuclear power status, particularly dangerous to the ukrainian independence and integrity. on the basis of customary norms and international law, the international community is obliged not to recognize crimea or any situation or treaty or agreement that may arise however chieved by this territory.
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madam president, my council expresses a strong imperative protest against the recognition of the russian federation for the self-proclaimed republic.
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