What a moment this is for Ukraine, what a moment this is for the OSCE. The whole world is watching. All the principles and values on which this Organization was founded almost 40 years ago hang in the balance today between the Maidan and Bankova, and across this country: sovereignty, freedom of choice, freedom of association and alliance, freedom of assembly and expression, democracy and constitutional governance, peace and stability. This is Ukraine’s moment to meet the aspirations of its people or to disappoint them, and risk descending into chaos and violence. What happens here matters to all of us and to this Organization. And the voices of the Ukrainian people today echo those of so many who came before them, here and in other parts of the OSCE space, throughout this Organization’s history.
here should be no doubt about where the United States stands on this. We stand with the people of Ukraine who see their future in Europe and want to bring their country back to economic health and unity. We also believe that our shared OSCE values and principles offer the only sustainable course to this future: all sides must renounce violence; those who abuse human rights must face justice; the fundamental freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly must be respected; journalists must be protected, and democratic norms and the rule of law must be upheld. As Secretary Kerry said this week, the people of Ukraine have the right to choose their own future. We urge the Ukrainian government to listen to the voices of its people who want to live in freedom, opportunity and prosperity. The United States will support and work with a Ukraine that is on this path.
Here in Ukraine and across our countries, we are reminded of the enduring truth of the OSCE’s comprehensive security concept: respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is essential to the progress and long-term security of this country and to all our countries.