Lithuanian Foreign Ministry’s statement on the non-recognition of the Russian State Duma elections in the annexed Crimea
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania condemns the Russian Federation’s plans to hold the State Duma elections on 18 September 2016 in the illegally annexed Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea that was occupied at the beginning of 2014.
Plans to hold the State Duma elections in Crimea represent yet another blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. This is the reason why the European Union and its international partners have imposed appropriate restrictive measures against Russia and individual persons.
We support the decision taken by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the agreement reached by the European Union’s member states not to send observers to the elections in Crimea. This reflects a coherent stance of the international community on the issue of non-recognition of the occupation of Crimea and its illegal annexation by Russia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also concerned about Russia’s continuous attempts to persecute the inhabitants of Crimea, who refuse to support Russian occupation policies, primarily Crimean Tatars. Since the Russian court banned the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People on 26 April 2016, all its members are threatened with incarceration on “extremism” charges. We consider that this is a politically motivated persecution and a rude violation of human rights and political freedoms.
We once again call on Russia to end the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to pull its military forces out of Ukraine’s territory and to comply with the norms of international law. We also call for allowing the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor the human rights situation in Crimea and to objectively assess the ongoing human rights abuses by the government.
We strongly support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Following the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution 68/262, entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, Lithuania and its international partners will never recognize the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea.