Strasbourg, 07.03.2014 - The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting today in Paris, expressed its full support for the territorial integrity and national unity of Ukraine. It therefore strongly condemned the violation by the Russian Federation of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The actions of Russian military forces in the Crimean peninsula, as well as explicit threats of military actions in the rest of Ukraine’s territory, are in direct violation of international law, including the UN Charter, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, the Statute of the Council of Europe, as well as Russia’s accession commitments.
The Standing Committee is especially concerned that the Council of Federation authorised the Russian President to use military force in the Crimea and it regrets the statements by both houses of the Russian parliament that supported calls for separatism and secessionism in an already tense region.
The Assembly expresses its full support for the legitimate new authorities in Kyiv and commends them for their restraint. It urges the authorities to refrain from any actions and rhetoric that could divide the Ukrainian society and undermine national unity. In order to strengthen national unity and the democratic development of the country, it is now important that as soon as possible a new constitution is adopted that is fully in line with Council of Europe standards and an early presidential election is held, followed by early parliamentary elections when the situation allows.
The Assembly stands ready to assist the Ukrainian authorities, and especially the Verkhovna Rada, in these processes.