Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has made the following statement:
“I strongly condemn the decision to organise so-called ‘referendums’ in the areas of Ukraine illegally occupied by the Russian army. This is a clear attempt to annex part of the territory of a Council of Europe member State, in violation of international law. There can be no justification for these acts, and there will be no recognition of them either politically or legally. The territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected, and Russian military forces must withdraw.
The Russian President and government have chosen the path of further escalation in this war of aggression, the result of which can only be more casualties and destruction. This morning’s decision to launch a partial mobilisation in the Russian Federation is obviously another step in this direction. All these decisions will not undermine our support for Ukraine and its people at this difficult moment.
I call on the parliaments of all member States to reaffirm their support for the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine, to help strengthen effective multilateralism and to oppose brutal unilateralism on our European continent.
The policy of the Russian government is clearly not in the interest of the Russian people, who will bear its consequences and suffer as a result of it. The complacency of Russian parliamentarians, who do not dare to question the decisions of their President and government while fast-tracking repressive new laws, thus destroying what remains of parliamentary oversight in the Russian Federation, is appalling.
The Parliamentary Assembly will continue to support Russian civil society, human rights defenders and democratic forces in their opposition to this war of aggression and their efforts to build a democratic Russia.”