Statement on Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns the obvious invasion of the territory of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
Such actions taken by the Russian Federation are gross violation of fundamental principles of international law and agreements reached at international meetings. These actions openly violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and undermine security across the entire region.
Lithuania calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its military forces, weaponry and equipment from the sovereign territory of Ukraine, and to end support in any form for the armed separatists in east of Ukraine.
Undoubtedly, the ongoing and ever-increasing flows of weapons and armed militant groups from the territory of the Russian Federation to east of Ukraine, as well as the actions taken by the Russian armed forces inside of Ukraine will receive an adequate response from the international community and its institutions. Lithuania urges the UN Security Council to discuss this matter immediately.
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States of America do not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called “presidential elections” held in Georgia’s Abkhazia region on March 22, 2020.
This statement is delivered on behalf of Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the return of Ukrainian citizens who were illegally captured and detained by Russia. Among the released prisoners is Oleh Sencov, winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2018, Edem Bekirov, a Crimean Tatar activist and other political prisoners, as well as 24 sailors captured during the aggressive actions of Russia in the Strait of Kerch in 2018. We share the joy of the families of those released and wish them a prompt recovery.
On 26 April, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, continued his visit in Kiev, Ukraine, and met with Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin. A day before, on 25 April, Linas Linkevičius had a meeting with President Petro Poroshenko, whose term as president is coming to an end.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the decree by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on a simplified procedure for granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainian citizens, who reside in temporarily occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Lithuania maintains that such a move is an illegal interference into Ukraine’s internal affairs and a violation of its territorial integrity.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 17 April, received a response to its note of 12 April over safety and security of the staff of the Lithuanian diplomatic representation and their family members in Moscow from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.