Following an urgent debate on “the Situation in Ukraine”, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a declaration on Ukraine during its 26th plenary session in Strasbourg, On 25 March 2014.
The Declaration states that: “…It does not accept the validity of the referendum, held on 16 March last, without the minimum democratic guarantees that should be in place for any vote and which are the preconditions required by the Congress when it observes local and regional elections. This pseudo-consultation should on no account pave the way for a change of borders between Russia and Ukraine. The use of military force by Russia to redraw national boundaries is unacceptable. The Congress therefore condemns Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol in violation of international law. The occupation of territories of independent states, as we saw in 2008 in Georgia and are facing now in Ukraine is unacceptable in international law and should not be tolerated...”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia joins the International Community in rejecting the results of illegal referendum and would like to underline that Russia's attempt to annex Crimea blatantly contradicts to the basic principles and values of the Council of Europe – as well as the commitments taken by the Russian Federation upon the accession to the Council of Europe.
We also reaffirm our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders and call upon the international community to consolidate efforts in order to ensure that the Russian Federation orders its troops back to their bases , undertake immediate steps to de-escalate the situation in Crimea and refrains itself from instigating tensions in other regions of Ukraine. We also call on Russia to enter into direct talks with the legitimate Ukrainian authorities and co-operate with the international community in order to find ways and work towards the resolution of the crisis by political means.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia welcomes the adoption of this important Declaration and wishes all the success to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in its endeavours to further promoting common European values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law within whole its territory.
Strasbourg, 27 March 2014