Stemming from its unwillingness to accept Ukrainian aspirations to join the European Union (EU), Russia has invaded and is occupying parts of the sovereign territory of Ukraine, a country which is a member of many international organizations. Russia’s military invasion is violation of international law. The international community should stand united in protecting the integrity of international law as embodied in the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act and other international instruments.
The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (PFD) condemns the unlawful and aggressive actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and urges the parliaments of the Presidential Troika of the EU (Parliaments of Greece, Italy, and Lithuania) and Latvia to initiate immediate debates concerning this critical situation in the parliaments of all 28 EU countries. PFD encourages the major parties in the parliaments of the 28 European nations to express their opinion and support regarding Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO and the EU. PFD is ready to drive this initiative forward in cooperation with its peers in the various EU parliaments and to coordinate efforts with the Troika.
PFD also calls on members and fellow parliamentarians to support the acceleration of implementation of the EU Visa Liberalisation Action Plan for Ukraine and speedy progress toward a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens’ short-term travel to the Schengen area.
As there will be an Eastern Partnership Summit in Latvia in 2015, PFD urges Latvia to hold such debates and to move forward with signing the European Union Association Agreement with Ukraine as soon as possible. PFD fully supports the position of and the statements made on 2 March 2014 by the President of Latvia, the Speaker of the Latvian Saeima, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Latvia. “Latvia strongly stands for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and is of the opinion that any measures aimed at splitting Ukrainian society and questioning the territorial integrity of the country must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.” The statement goes on to say: “The decision by the Russian Federation to sanction the use of armed forces in the territory of Ukraine is a gross violation of international law and a direct interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.”
We too call “on the international community to actively express its strong support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Furthermore, and considering the implication of Russia’s unlawful actions, PFD is committed to holding an international summit for democracy in Moldova this year to discuss threats and challenges to democracy in Europe. PFD recommends using the same format as the summit hosted by the Lithuanian Presidency on 28 November 2013 in Vilnius, where more than 150 members of parliaments from all over the world discussed the EU Eastern Partnership issues, democratic developments and lessons learned.
PFD, together with the international community, is ready to consolidate all efforts in assisting Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova at this difficult time and helping these neighbours to join the EU and NATO.
Parliamentary Forum for Democracy