Wednesday, September 21, 2016
X-Captive Nations Recall War
In Ukraine at 71st UN GA Talks
Leaders of Latvia and Estonia reminded the international community of the Russian war in Ukraine during their addresses today during the second day of general debates during the opening of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.
Below are the relevant excerpts:
Latvia, President Raimonds Vÿjonis
We must remain vigilant and insist that all States abide by their obligations under international law.
Russia has undermined the foundations of international law by changing borders of sovereign States through the use of force.
Latvia together with the international community will continue to stand for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation will not be recognized and must end. Any discrimination against the Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea requires a firm UN reaction.
The international community must work to facilitate the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the eastern Ukraine. All parties must fulfill their commitments under the Minsk Agreements and make the Minsk process work.
Latvia continues to support Ukraine in its reform process and its humanitarian needs.
Estonia, President Toomas Hendrik Ilives
Certainly the world was more stable then, before the economic crisis, the migration crisis; current conflicts in the wider Middle East or Russia’s aggression against Georgia and Ukraine; before the war on truth and facts that seems to have taken over in many places. Despite our concerns at the time, we lived in a world more stable, where optimism was not yet naivete. Today, in too many parts of this world, we find a conflict either emerging, raging or frozen. Terrorism, always a scourge, dominates our daily headlines in all parts of the world.
Not all of today’s conflicts and crises could have been prevented. Yet the effect of many could have been mitigated had we acted sooner, had the proper mechanisms to resolve them been in place. When I addressed this assembly in the wake of the Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, I warned not to apply international law selectively. International law had been clearly violated, yet little was done. Six years later, in 2014, we saw a repeat performance in Ukraine. Part of a sovereign state was annexed, part turned into a warzone. For the first time since World War II borders in Europe had been changed through use of force. The prohibition on the use of force to change borders lies at the heart of the UN Charter. It was blatantly violated and yet the UN could not make a difference. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine continues.
Territories of Georgia and Ukraine remain occupied by a foreign military, frozen conflicts remain in
Nagorno-Karabakh and Trans-nistria.
X-captive nations must unite to defend themselves against Russian aggression. – TC