2015 AS Final Plenary votingDelegates voting at the OSCE PA Annual Session, 8 July 2015. (courtesy of Hanne Salonen / Parliament of Finland)HELSINKI, 8 July 2015 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, meeting in Helsinki this week at its 2015 Annual Session, has approved a resolution condemning Russia’s actions in and around Ukraine in the context of the ongoing crisis.

Parliamentarians from three continents voted by a margin of 96 in favor to 7 against with 32 abstentions on the resolution, which condemns Russia’s “unilateral and unjustified assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The resolution, which is titled “The Continuation of Clear, Gross and Uncorrected Violations of OSCE Commitments and International Norms by the Russian Federation,” was principally sponsored by Dean Allison, the Head of Canada’s Delegation to the OSCE PA. The text was a compromise version of similar items submitted by the Delegations of Canada and Ukraine.

The Russian Delegation to the OSCE PA was not present for the vote following its decision to not attend the 2015 Annual Session.

Among more than 40 clauses, the approved text “calls on the Russian Federation to stop the supply and flow of heavy weaponry, ammunition, units of the Russian Armed Forces and mercenaries across the Russian border into eastern Ukraine [and] cease providing any military, financial or logistical aid to illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.”

It also underscores “the need for the Russian Federation itself to meet in full its commitments in the 2014 Minsk Agreements and the 2015 Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, as well as to use its considerable influence over the pro-Russian illegal armed groups in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine to do the same.”

The resolution further endorses the diplomatic efforts of the Normandy format and the work of the Trilateral Contact Group and its four working groups; calls for unhindered access for the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission for all of Ukraine’s territory, including Crimea; and “underscores that the resumption of effective control over the Ukrainian-Russian border remains crucial for a sustainable de-escalation of the crisis.”

Among several clauses on the situation in Crimea, the resolution expresses the Assembly’s “deep concern that under conditions of occupation, the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, continues to deteriorate, leading to serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The text also calls on Russia to “immediately release and return to Ukraine detained pilot and member of the Verkhovna Rada, Nadiya Savchenko, filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Oleksander Kolchenko and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.”

It also urges that perpetrators of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 be held accountable.

Through the resolution, the Assembly “stresses the importance of meaningful and effective economic, constitutional and governance reforms in Ukraine, as well as the Government of Ukraine’s continuing efforts to fight corruption.”

The resolution will now be included as an annex to the Helsinki Declaration, the final outcome document of the 2015 Annual Session. The Declaration will contain wide-ranging policy recommendations for the OSCE and its 57 participating States in the fields of political affairs and security, economics, the environment and human rights.

Nearly 300 OSCE parliamentarians in attendance will meet in a concluding plenary session tomorrow, 9 July, at 9:00 local time, to adopt the Declaration.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic is also scheduled to address the Assembly.

LIVE STREAMING, as well as documents, videos, photos and more, are available on: http://www.oscepa.org/meetings/annual-sessions/2015-helsinki-annual-session

Follow news from the Session using the Twitter hashtag #PAHelsinki15.