Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees of 13 European countries issued a joint statement today, strongly condemning the illegal referendums organised by Russia on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and any possible fabricated results that Russia might announce, and call on other countries to reject the referendums and not to recognise their results.
“We emphasise that the sham referendums organised and imposed by the Russian occupation regime in four regions of Ukraine are a clear violation of international law, including the UN charter, and can only be considered as a false pretext to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine and justify their illegal war – a process reflecting Russia’s approach in Crimea in 2014, combining military presence, violence, forced deportations, disinformation, intimidation, distribution of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens and fake and illegitimate results,” reads the statement by Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees.
They underline that these referendums and whatever fabricated outcomes Russia would announce do not represent the demonstrated will of the Ukrainian people and are a severe violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence, and the annexation of Ukrainian territory cannot be recognised by any country.
The 13 Chairs also call on other countries to reject and condemn the referendums organised in temporarily occupied regions of Ukraine and not to recognise any results that Russia might announce, as well as the passports of the Russian Federation issued in the occupied regions of Ukraine. “We call on the international community to seek accountability for those who have been actively involved in the organisation and holding of illegal referendums or engaged in other related activities,” reads the joint statement.
The Chairs also make an appeal to urgently strengthen sanctions against Russia, continue to isolate Russia from international and regional organisations, impose equivalent sanctions on Belarus as a supporter of Russian military aggression, and increase military, financial, humanitarian, and diplomatic support to Ukraine.
The statement has been signed by the Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Netherlands, France, Romania, Slovakia, Germany, Finland, and Denmark. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson signed the statement on behalf of Estonia.
Text of the Joint Statement in English
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