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United Nations (UN)

Australian statement for the Interactive Dialogue on the oral update on Ukraine, 22 March 2021

Human Rights Council – 46th session

Interactive dialogue on the OHCHR report on Ukraine

22 March 2021

Australian Statement

Australia thanks the High Commissioner for her update.

Australia remains a strong supporter of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We encourage all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine to resolve issues in good faith and look to the Normandy Format as the vehicle for the peace process. We call on all parties to reaffirm commitment to last July’s ceasefire and implement all corresponding measures.

Australia welcomes the report’s finding that the security situation has significantly improved. However, we remain concerned by continued human rights violations in the illegally annexed territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, and occupied territories in eastern Ukraine. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these already challenging environments. We call on parties to ensure access to essential services in a safe and secure manner, including by facilitating the safe re-opening of all entry-exit crossing points.

In Crimea, occupying Russian authorities continue to issue unlawful deportation and forcible transfer orders against Ukrainian citizens. Moreover, Jehovah’s Witnesses face ongoing discrimination and unjustified extremism-related criminal charges. This is unacceptable.

We again call on Russia to facilitate immediate and unimpeded access to Crimea and eastern Ukraine for the OHCHR and other international human rights organisations to monitor and report on the situation.

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