Explanatory memorandum submitted by the delegation of Ukraine
The Parliamentary Group of Ukraine to the Inter-Parliamentary Union requests hereby the inclusion of the emergency item “The Aggression of the Russian Federation upon Ukraine” in the agenda of the 130th IPU Assembly. The grounds for this request are as follows.
On February 27, 2014 the Russian Federation launched aggression upon Ukraine by bringing its troops into the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The deployment of military forces and facilities of the Russian Army both with the involvement of troops of the Russian Black Sea Fleet provisionally stationed within the territory of Ukraine and from the territory of the Russian Federation is a major violation of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Stay of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine as well as of international legal instruments that proclaim the principles of territorial integrity of countries and inviolability of their borders.
In response to calls by the former president Viktor Yanukovych who fled from the country and the self-proclaimed "prime minister" of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation backed on March 1, 2014 the address by President Putin on the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine. However, according to the Ukrainian legislation solely the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine may, if it is needed, appeal to other states with regard to any introduction of foreign troops.
Russia accuses Ukraine of numerous violations of rights of Russian and Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens and uses this reason to indirectly justify the aggression. However, up to date there are no cases confirmed of violation of rights of citizens of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine, including in the Crimea. In addition, on March 6, 2014 Ms. Astrid Thors, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, stated basing on the findings of her mission to Crimea that no evidence of violations of or threats to human rights of Russian and Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine were found in the Autonomous Republic. Moreover, the Ukrainian side agrees with the OSCE High Commissioner that it is through actions of the ARC self-proclaimed authorities including their illegal decisions on becoming a part of the Russian Federation and conducting the so-called "all-Crimean referendum”, the autonomy faces greatly exacerbated interethnic relations. In particular, citizens of the Ukrainian ethnic origin and Crimean Tatars are in danger.
With Russian military forces being deployed in the territory of the AutonomousRepublic, including its central city of Simferopol, the local Supreme Council adopted on 6 March 2014 the decision to join the Russian Federation as a constituent entity of Russia and to hold the "all-Crimean referendum” on March 16, 2014. Ukraine does not recognize these decisions and regards them illegal because they breach the Ukrainian Constitution.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has expressed its strong protest over the statement of 11 March 2014 of the Russian Foreign Ministry on the recognition of legitimacy of the so-called "Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and SevastopolCity” adopted by the Supreme Council of Crimea. The “Declaration” is one more act that is unconstitutional and legally null and void because it violates the Ukrainian national legislation and provisions of many international instruments recognised by UN Member States, including Russia.
Currently, in Crimea occupied by Russian troops which form, arm and control local paramilitary forces there is an unprecedented number of flagrant violations of human rights, disregard for the Ukrainian legislation and international law.
International observers who come to Ukraine to monitor human rights respect in the country are not allowed to the territory of the Autonomy or forced to leave the peninsula. For instance, Mr. Robert Serry, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, was forced to interrupt his visit to the Crimea. No attempt of a group of OSCE observers to get to the peninsula was successful: they were not let through checkpoints guarded by armed people, including Russian military.
While demonstrating restraint and not responding to provocative acts by the opposite side Ukrainian servicemen are blocked at their home stations and experience continuous pressure from armed groups, mostly Russian military units which have no right to be present in the territory of Ukraine.
Cases of violent kidnapping of journalists, local Ukrainian activists and servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by illegal armed groups coordinated by Russian instructors have become the culmination of disrespect for all the fundamental norms of the Ukrainian and international law.
In view of all that, on March 11, 2014 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution in which, with reference to the safeguards enshrined in the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Budapest Memorandum), appealed to the State Parties to the Budapest Memorandum and international organisations to take practical measures to ensure the security and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Parliament also demanded that the Russian Federation immediately withdraw its illegally deployed troops from the territory of Ukraine and stop aggression upon the Ukrainian state.
We urge the Inter-Parliamentary Union to give a clear assessment of the political and diplomatic actions of the Russian Federation aimed at setting a dangerous precedent that bears a direct threat to state sovereignty of Ukraine, global peace and stability.
For more information on the Crimea, please also pay attention to Ukraine Crisis Media Center <http://uacrisis.org/>