Гендиректору ЮНЕСКО та Директору Центру всесвітньої спадщини направлено ноту з реакцією та коментарями України у зв’язку із публікацією на офіційному сайті Постпредства РФ при ЮНЕСКО інформації щодо археологічних розкопок на території українського об’єкта всесвітньої культурної спадщини у Херсонсі. Ноту, текст якої наведено нижче, розповсюджено також серед усіх країн-членів та спостерігачів Організації.
The Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to UNESCO presents its compliments to the Director-General of UNESCO and has the honor to draw her attention to the following.
Recently the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO posted on its website information regarding the archaeological research carried out at the territory of the Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese (relevant link to the Ria news Crimea posted on 6 January 2018). Among other illegal actions presented as “achievements” of the occupation authorities, the article reports on the removal of 667 artefacts from their original location to the local museum.
It should be noted that the mentioned architectural monument is situated in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine) and belongs to the World Heritage property “Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora” as well as to the list of historical and architectural sites of a national significance of Ukraine.
In this regard Ukraine would like to recall again the provisions of the UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” of 27 March 2014 which provide a clear definition on the status of Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of the territory of Ukraine as well as the Resolutions "Situation of human rights in Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)” of 19 December 2016 and of 19 December 2017. Eight relevant decisions "The situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)" adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO clearly and unambiguously stay in line with these resolutions of the General Assembly.
Therefore, such actions of the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea are direct violation of universally recognized standards and principles of international law.
Following the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, Ukraine has been forcefully dispossessed of the World Heritage site “Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora” as well as of numerous other historical and architectural sites of a national significance, including those that were actively participating in UNESCO-led programs and research activities. The illegal transfer and redistribution of the cultural property belonging to Ukraine into the ownership of the Russian federal governmental institutions has become a regular practice in the occupied Crimea, and the illicit trafficking of Ukrainian cultural property from Crimean museums for exhibitions has assumed appalling proportions.
Ukraine is seriously concerned about the state of those objects endangered by the large-scale illegal archaeological excavations as well as by other illicit activities of occupying authorities which stay beyond any international accountability.
Ukraine provides the Secretariat UNESCO on a regular basis with extensive available information on the state of conservation of cultural heritage sites in Crimea under occupation. Hence, it is worth reminding that there is a clear understanding shared by the Secretariat of UNESCO and the World Heritage Center that Ukraine as a sole legal proprietor of the objects in question is the only Member State of UNESCO entitled to submit reports on the issues falling under the UNESCO mandate in the occupied Crimea.
Taking into account that the mentioned information was posted on the official site of Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, the very fact of such publication bears a testimony of a blatant neglect by Russia of norms and principles of international law, including the legally binding instruments and decisions of UNESCO.
Ukraine counts on the relevant public reaction of the Secretariat of UNESCO and World Heritage Center concerning the above-mentioned.
The Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to UNESCO avails itself of this opportunity to express its gratitude to the Member States that actively support the de-occupation of Ukrainian Crimea and to renew to the Director-General of UNESCO the assurances of its highest consideration.