On February 20, 2014, the Russian Federation launched the military aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine.
Three years have passed since the treacherous attack by the neighbouring state, despite its commitment to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, as well as its status of one of the guarantors of security and territorial integrity of Ukraine according to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
Although the Revolution of Dignity clearly reconfirmed the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to build European, democratic and prosperous Ukraine, the Kremlin responded by attempting to deprive Ukrainians of the right to define their future by their own. Russia launched a well-planned military operation, which resulted in the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as well as in bloodshed in Donbas.
Thereby Russia has challenged the value-based world order in a try to revive the geopolitical thinking of the past with domination of the rule of force and spheres of influence.
The appalling number of victims highlights the immorality of Kremlin’s war against the Ukrainian people: over 9 800 Ukrainian people were killed, about 23 000 wounded and almost 1.8 million of internally displaced persons. 7.2 % of Ukrainian territory has been seized by Russia and millions of the citizens of Ukraine live there under occupation and endless terror. Russia persists in sending new fighters, weaponry and ammunition to Ukraine through the section of the Ukrainian-Russian state border of 409.7 km long, which remains out of control of the Ukrainian government.
Occupied Crimea, closed for any form of international control and monitoring, is now an area for systemic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, targeting, first of all, the Ukrainian activists and the indigenous people of Crimea – Crimean Tatars. The citizens of Ukraine are being groundlessly detained and imprisoned, activists are being disappeared, their families and friends are facing intimidation. The Mejlis, a representative body of the Crimean Tatar people, was banned.
Russia continues to fuel the conflict in Donbas, sends regular troops and mercenaries to the territory, which is out of control by the Ukrainian Government, and keeps reinforcing its militants and terrorists with the sophisticated weaponry and military hardware.
Russia remains unwilling to implement the Minsk Agreements thus undermining all efforts taken by Ukraine and the international community towards de-escalation and stabilization in the region. Moscow’s propaganda has no limits to lie, falsification and doublespeak. Human life has no value for the aggressor. Besides their actions in Ukraine, the Russian structures were regularly spotted interfering in the internal affairs of other sovereign states. The aggressive policy of the Russian Federation pose a threat for the entire world order.
We are grateful to all partners for their strong support and solidarity. By adopting the UN General Assembly Resolutions “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” and “’Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)” the world has clearly said “no” to violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of an independent state, condemned the occupant and reconfirmed its human rights commitments. Personal and economic sanctions have been a powerful demonstration of the unity of purpose of the world leading countries in response to the outrage and defiance of international law by the aggressor state.
The only dignified response by the international community, which has no alternative, will be maintaining solidarity with Ukraine in countering the Russian aggression by strengthening political, diplomatic and economic pressure on the aggressor state. Russia must fully implement its own commitments on peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas as a signatory of the Minsk Agreements, put an immediate end to violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the occupied territories, release all hostages and political prisoners, de-occupy the Crimean peninsula. It is only Russia’s return to the tenets of international law that will ensure peace and stability on the European continent and will lift the threat of chaos and domination of force in the international relations.