Meeting with OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

On 12 September 2018 the delegation of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Office visited the Mission of the President of Ukraine in ARC in the framework of the four-day working visit to Kherson region. During the meeting the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine Borys Babin, High Commissioner Lamberto Zannier and the members of OSCE delegation discussed the aspects of protection and exercising of rights of ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, as Indigenous People and national minorities in the context of the temporary occupation of the peninsula. They discussed its impact on the interethnic relationship in the adjacent Ukrainian territories to Crimea.

The total violation of Ukrainian citizens’ rights to education in the occupied territory was discussed above all, particularly impediments to get education in native language and lack of such language to be studied as a subject at secondary schools, controlled by the occupiers. Despite the Order of the UN International Court of Justice the lack of schools in Ukrainian language and oppression of education in Crimean Tatar language in Crimea were stated. Such educational policy of the occupation authorities is aimed at preventing the residents of the occupied territory to get higher education in the mainland of Ukraine, pointed Borys Babin. With the reference to the issue, Borys Babin briefed the High Commissioner on the system of distance and external education, organized for the Crimean residents in Kherson region to provide them with the possibility to continue education, studying in the Higher Educational Establishments in Ukraine under the simplified procedure within the program “Crimea – Ukraine”

The parties discussed the practice of discrimination and direct violation of the rights of the representatives of Crimean Tatar People by the punitive bodies of the state-aggressor and usage of national minorities in Crimea as the collective hostages extorting ethnic-kin states of EU on political grounds. The issue of increasing efficiency for the citizens of Ukraine, residing in the occupied territory to obtain the passports in the mainland of Ukraine was discussed during the meeting. Particularly the opening of such Administrative Service Centers in the districts, adjacent to the administrative boundary line, and in Kherson will make it possible to receive such services freely while minimizing security and corruption risks.

The highlighted issues regarded to the protection of IDPs` rights by the Ukrainian Government as well as the intensification of SMM OSCE activity in the districts, adjacent to the temporarily occupied Crimea. The attention was drawn to the next join undertaking of the Mission and OSCE on implementation of the proposals, highlighted at the Expert Meeting, held by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Kherson on 14 June 2018.

In conclusion, Borys Babon commended Lamberto Zannier for the attention to the activity of the Mission and pointed out that the collaboration and partnership with international organizations are indispensable components for the objective assessment of the situation, occurred in the occupied territory for adoption of relevant decisions by the International Community.