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Ukraine’s reaction to the Statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the Group of Support for Ukraine
19 March 2014 23:01

Ukraine views the said statement as an open display of interference into Ukraine’s domestic affairs that contradicts the fundamental norms of international law and universally recognized principles of coexistence of nations. 

Such practice is absolutely unacceptable and must not be used neither in bilateral Ukrainian-Russian relations, nor in multilateral format with regard to Ukraine. The spirit and the content of proposals of the Russian Federation grossly violate the requirement of paragraph 7 Article 2 of the UN Charter, which established the prohibition “to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state”.

Making this provision of the UN Charter more specific, the 1970 UN Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations establishes that “no State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from its advantages of any kind”.

Discussing the meaning of the principle of non-interference in its 1986 judgment in the Case Concerning the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua, the International Court of Justice stated: “in view of the generally accepted formulations, the principle forbids all States or groups of States to intervene directly or indirectly in internal or external affairs of other States. A prohibited intervention must accordingly be one bearing on matters in which each State is permitted, by the principle of State sovereignty, to decide freely. One of these is the choice of a political, economic, social and cultural system, and the formulation of foreign policy. Intervention is wrongful when it uses methods of coercion in regard to such choices, which must remain free ones. The element of coercion, which defines, and indeed forms the very essence of, prohibited intervention, is particularly obvious in the case of an intervention which uses force, either in the direct form of military action, or in the indirect form of support for subversive or terrorist armed activities within another State” (ICJ, Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America). Judgment of 27 June 1986, I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 108).

In view of the fact that the “plan of settlement” proposed by Russia provides for imposition of elements that are extrinsic to the Ukrainian statehood (federalization, state bilingualism, separability of state territory), as well as of the fact that the recognition of pseudo-referendum that took place in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on March 16, 2014, along with de facto annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia is a precondition of its implementation, this document cannot be viewed by Ukraine otherwise than another attempt by the Russian Federation to subdue Ukraine in the exercise of its sovereign rights and to use “l’état de faiblesse” of the Ukrainian State to gain illegitimate territorial gains. By using coercion in the form of occupation of a part of the territory of Ukraine, and political and economic support of actions of Crimean separatists that undermine the foundations of the Ukrainian statehood, Russia prevents Ukraine from independent choice of political, economic, social and cultural framework within which the Ukrainian society must live, and from determination of priorities of its foreign policy.

A special insult is caused by the fact that, by all means ignoring the obligation to cooperate in prevention and settlement of conflicts and situations that concern the interests of both sides as provided by Article 4 of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation dated May 31, 1997, Moscow tries to “assist in the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis” without participation of Ukraine and behind its back. While demonstratively non-recognizing the legitimacy of the Government of Ukraine, Russia strives to restore the practice of the “Holy Alliance” and the “Concert of Europe” when “great powers” decided the fate of “minor” ones, changing their state structure, governance, political, economic and cultural organization at their sole discretion and according to their own interests. At the same time, according to the UN Charter, in the XXI century all states are legally equal, and, as equal members of the international community, they have the right not only to determine their internal arrangements and foreign policy, but also fully and effectively participate in the international process of decision-making. Voluntary exception of Ukraine from that process is inadmissible and inacceptable.

Ukraine has serious doubts regarding the capability of the Russian Federation to have rights and obligations as a guarantor state of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the future. Having grossly violated the provisions of all international legal acts that guaranteed Ukraine’s security, including the UN Charter, the 1975 CSCE Final Act, the Belavezha Accords dated December 10, 1991, the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons dated December 5, 1994, and vetoed the UN Security Council Resolution on Ukraine, Moscow completely discredited itself and has no moral right to propose its services in this sphere.

Ukraine yet again reaffirms its openness and readiness for both bilateral and multilateral process of negotiations in order to regulate the situation that formed in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. At the same time, such negotiations may take place only with full-fledged participation of Ukraine and on the basis of respect to the principles of territorial integrity, inviolability of state borders of Ukraine and non-interference into its domestic affairs.   

Image of: www.globalresearch.ca     

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