PRESS RELEASE ON THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE
1) Agreement of February 21, 2014
Ukraine considers of grate importance the Agreement signed by the former President of Ukraine and opposition leaders and certified by the ministers for foreign affairs of Germany, France and Poland on the 21st of February 2014.
In this regard the representative of the Russian Federation, who also participated in the negotiation and drafting of the document, refused to testify this Agreement.
According to the Agreement, within 48 hours after its signing a special law that would restore the Ukrainian Constitution of 2004 had to be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, signed by the President and made public.
The parties also agreed on the early presidential elections to be held immediately after the adoption of the new Constitution of Ukraine but no later than in December 2014. The parties agreed to refrain from the use of violence.
Former President of Ukraine refused to sign a special act of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the restoration of the Constitution of Ukraine of 2004 pursuant to the Agreement of February 21, 2014. Thus the former President of Ukraine, being one of the Parties to the mentioned Agreement, is responsible for non-compliance with the Agreement.
Taking into account the absence of a legitimate Government of Ukraine (resigned on January 28, 2014) and the President’s self-removal from exercising his functions stipulated in the Constitution of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on February 22, 2014, being the only legitimate authority in Ukraine, adopted a Decree restoring the Constitution of Ukraine of June 28, 1996, as amended on December 8, 2004, February 1. 2011, and September 19, 2013.
The Ukrainian Parliament scheduled early elections of the President of Ukraine for May 25, 2014.
On the February 27, 2014 the Parliament of Ukraine established a parliamentary coalition, which consists of representatives of various political parties.
In this regard, allegations by the Russian Federation that the Ukrainian opposition failed to implement the Agreement are groundless and unconstructive.
Moreover, the position of the Russian Federation is very surprising, given the fact that Russian envoy V.Lukin, in fact, refused to recognize the Agreement before it was signed.
2) Russian aggression against Ukraine
On February 28, 2014 the Upper House of the Russian Parliament has unanimously authorized the use of military force against Ukraine, upon the request of the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
Russian troops without any military markings illegally entered the territory of Ukraine in Crimea region planning to expand their military further under illegal excuse of protecting the Russian speaking population.
(For the additional information: 1256 secondary schools are currently functioning in Ukraine with the tuition programs in Russian language where about 700 000 pupils are studying. In the Russian Federation, where officially about 2 mln. Ukrainians are residing, only 10 schools are operating with the tuition programs including studying of Ukrainian language. There are 1176 newspapers published in Russian language in Ukraine and in Russia there are only 7 newspapers and magazines published in Ukrainian language. There is only 1 broadcasting program functioning in Ukrainian language on the territory of Russian Federation and in Ukraine there are about 5-75% (depending on the region of Ukraine) of broadcasting flow in Russian language.
According to the OSCE monitoring held in 2009, rights of Russian minorities in Ukraine are highly more secured than in any other OSCE countries.)
Current actions of the Russian Federation constitute an act of aggression against the state of Ukraine, a sever violation of international law posing a serious threat to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as peace and stability in the whole region.
The Russian federation refused to comply with its obligations as State-Guarantor of Ukraine under Budapest Memorandum, obliging Russian as well as other Permanent Members of the Security Council to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian side, despite several efforts, hasn’t received yet the confirmation from the Government of the Russian Federation regarding the presence of their military troops in Ukraine.
Russia officially rejected Ukrainian proposal to hold immediate bilateral consultations (under article 7 of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation of 1997) and also refused to participate in the extraordinal meeting between the State-Guarantors of Ukraine under Budapest Memorandum on the ministerial level.
The Russian Federation brutally violated the basic principles of Charter of the United Nations obliging all member states to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
3) Situation in Crimea
Beginning from February 28, 2014 approximately 16000 Russian troops have been deployed in Crimea by the military ships, helicopters, cargo airplanes from the neighboring territory of the Russian Federation. The Russian troops keep taking their attempts to seize, block and control crucial governmental and military objects of Ukraine in Crimea: the Parliament of Crimea (occupied by the military), all civil and military airports, means of communication, radio stations, customs service, military and coastguard bases, Headquarters of the Ukraine’s Navy in Crimea. All main roads are currently blocked by the Russian military personnel.
Accumulation of the Russian Federation’s troops and military equipment along the eastern border of Ukraine clearly indicates Russia’s preparation for the possible military intervention into the other parts of Ukraine.
So far Ukrainian Armed Forces have exercised restraint and refrained from active resistance to the Russian aggression, although they are in full operation readiness.
The Russian Federation is performing active informational and ideological pressure in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as well as in the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine aiming at discrediting legitimate authorities of Ukraine, dividing Ukrainian nation, spreading separatism and misleading public opinion by calling Russia’s intervention a “peacekeeping operation”.
Growing Russian propaganda is based on distorted and sometimes completely false information on the situation in Crimea and South-Eastern regions of Ukraine.
Moreover, the Ukrainian authorities have the information on several provocative acts by the Russian side on the territory of Crimea: there are cases of seizing by Russian troops of Ukrainian military vehicles and redressing of Russian military into the uniform of Ukrainian military personnel aiming to attack Ukrainian military bases located in Crimea and undermine the security situation in the Ukrainian peninsula.
The referendum in Crimea scheduled on the March 16, 2014 is considered illegal as violates current legislation of Ukraine according to which all the issues concerning the territories of Ukraine should be regulated through the all-Ukrainian referendum. Thus the results of the mentioned referendum of March 16 will not be recognized by the Ukrainian Government and the international community.
Since the lawmakers of Crimea illegitimately voted to join Russian Federation on March 6, 2014 a lot of cases of violence against Ukrainian journalists were registered. Any efforts of international journalists or international observers (including OSCE observers) to enter the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea were brutally banned by the Russian military troops currently blocking any excess to Crimea region.