Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden and Ukraine urge Russia to respect international law

Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden and Ukraine urge Russia to respect international law

Ukrinform
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko urged Russia to respect international law and its fundamental principles and to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.

This is said in a joint statement made by the four ministers in Tallinn on November 26 and published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The ministers stressed their unwavering support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

“We urge Russia to respect international law and its fundamental principles and reverse moves that contravene these principles. We strongly condemn the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014 and the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, which we will not recognise. We shall remain committed to implement the non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures," the statement reads.

The ministers of Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden commended Ukraine for the relentless efforts to solve the conflict in Donbas, caused by Russia’s ongoing aggression, by peaceful means for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and Europe as a whole. They underscored the importance of achieving a sustainable political solution to the conflict based on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and called on Russia to fully assume its responsibility in this regard.

The ministers reiterated the inherent right of every country to decide on its policy priorities, including its security arrangements. The recent parliamentary elections demonstrated the overwhelming support of the voters for the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and provided the new government with a strong mandate to continue the wide-ranging reforms.

“The success of these reforms will be crucial in laying the groundwork for a prosperous and peaceful Ukraine firmly anchored among European democracies and committed to our common European values, including democracy, human rights, gender equality and the rule of law. We stand ready to support Ukraine in these efforts, including in the framework of Eastern Partnership,” the ministers noted.

The foreign ministers took note of the return to Ukraine of the vessels illegally captured by Russia in 2018 and called on Russia to comply with its international commitments by ensuring unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and allowing freedom of navigation.

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