By Peter Tase
Over the last six years, the Worldwide Institutions have witnessed an unprecedented set of violations and geopolitical turmoil in postwar Europe; defiance of the basic norms and principles of international laws – war and order – the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, that started on February 20, 2014, from the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the organization on the peninsula of the illegal “referendum”, and then continued actions with the occupation of certain parts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.
The continuation of the Russian aggression threatens the Global, European and regional security and stability, undermines principles of international law and rules-based order, and peaceful coexistence of independent states.
The human price of the aggression is constantly growing (more than 40,000 people, including over 14,000 dead, 1.5 million residents that have become internally displaced persons).
At the present, Russian Federation ignores implementation of its international obligations as the occupying power by conducting systemic political persecutions on the temporary occupied territories, in particular based on ethnic and religious grounds; violating fundamental human rights and freedoms; carrying out illegal elections and conscription of Ukrainian citizens to the Russian army; pursuing illegal issuance of passports to Ukrainian citizens; facilitating massive migration of the Russian population to Crimea in order to change demographic situation on the peninsula.
The Russian Government does not implement its obligations under the Minsk arrangements achieved through the Normandy format. Moscow’s first and basic step is to ensure a comprehensive cease-fire, for as long as armed confrontations are taking place, there are weakened possibilities for de-escalation of the situation and peaceful settlement in the Donbas region.
Intensive militarization by Russia of the temporarily occupied territories is unacceptable. It threatens the national security of Ukraine as well as the regional security and stability of Europe.
The Ukrainian Government, demands that Russia stop its military aggression against Ukraine, de-occupy Crimea and certain parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and ensure implementation of the respective decisions of international organizations and international courts.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: “Russia should immediately release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, in the context of international military conflict, and stop the practice of political persecutions on the temporary occupied territories.” Moscow has led a campaign of political persecution against representatives of national minorities; in particular Crimean Tatars, has violated fundamental human rights and freedoms – including freedoms of speech and assembly, media and religious freedoms, and hinders access to the occupied territories for established international human rights monitoring mechanisms.
It must emphasized that the policy of non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea, including its key part – personal and sectoral sanctions against Russia – will be kept until the de-occupation of the peninsula has been accomplished by Russian Government, within the international law framework.