CoE leaders condemn illegal annexation of occupied territories of Ukraine

CoE leaders condemn illegal annexation of occupied territories of Ukraine

Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, Simon Coveney, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Tiny Kox, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have condemned the illegal annexation of captured Ukrainian territories by Russia.

That’s according to a joint statement, released by the CoE press service, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“The Council of Europe strongly condemns the decision of the Russian Federation to proceed with the illegal annexation of territories it currently occupies in Ukraine. The forcible change of international borders at the expense of another sovereign state, and the so-called ‘referenda’ that preceded it, constitute a grave breach of international law and cannot be recognized,” the CoE leaders stated.

The leaders stress that, as an occupying power, Russia continues to bear full responsibility for respecting human rights in the territories concerned as well as in occupied Crimea.

Read also: Russia to “simply choke” on new chunks of territory - Kuleba

“Russia must de-escalate without delay and return to the principles of international law which remain the cornerstone of peace in Europe and beyond,” the statement says.

“The Council of Europe will continue to stand with the people and authorities of our member state Ukraine. Our commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders remains unequivocal and unwavering. We once again call for an immediate end to the conflict and for peace to return to Europe,” the leaders conclude.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, overnight Friday, September 30, Vladimir Putin signed a decree "recognizing the independence" of Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. The "independence" of the “DPR” and “LPR” entities had been recognized on February 21, while the agreement on their "protection" became the pretext for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Read also: Truss: We will ensure Putin loses this war

On September 30, the Kremlin held a ceremony of "admission into Russia" of the temporarily occupied regions of Ukraine, annexation of puppet entities "DPR" and "LPR", as well as temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine.

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