An extraordinary meeting of the Council of Europe's Ministers' Deputies was held on Wednesday to take stock of the political situation in Ukraine and consider the assistance which the Organisation could bring in this context. Expressing its solidarity with Ukraine and its people, the Committee underlined the importance of maintaining efforts towards finding a political solution in the country and the commitment of its 47 governments to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine.
The Ministers' Deputies underlined that the reforms undertaken in Ukraine should be conducted in an all-inclusive manner, fully respect the principle of the rule of law and comply with the country's commitments to the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and the other Council of Europe conventions to which Ukraine is party, in particular the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The Committee also invited Ukraine to draw on the Council of Europe's expertise when preparing the important reforms to come, starting with the revision of the Constitution and of the electoral legislation and called on all sides concerned to ensure that the International Advisory Panel as proposed by the Secretary General be enabled to begin its work on the basis of a mandate reflecting the current situation.
During the meeting, a message was also delivered on behalf of the Austrian Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers Sebastian Kurz. "We want to encourage our friends in Ukraine to use the wealth of experience of this organisation, particularly in order to ensure continued protection of its minorities, as well as territorial integrity, in line with its obligations to the Council of Europe."