VIENNA / ROTTERDAM / NUR-SULTAN/ TBILISI
Global condemnations have poured in following Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states.
EU members Austria, Netherlands, Czechia and Slovakia issued reactions to Russia’s decision to recognize Ukraine’s breakaway regions.
Austrian Prime Minister Karl Nehammer said on Twitter that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision was a clear violation of the Minsk agreement and an insult to the diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution.
“We stand by Ukraine in these difficult moments. The act of recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk by Russia in the middle of diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful resolution to an escalation is mindblowing. Slovakia condemns this decision, united with its allies & partners,” Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said Russia’s decision violates international law and is a flagrant violation against a sovereign country.
Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a tweet: “The recognition of the separatist territories in Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and Minsk agreements. The Netherlands strongly condemns this act and will respond firmly in close coordination with our EU & NATO partners.”
OSCE, Georgia, Kazakhstan
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) also condemned the move in a joint statement signed by Zbigniew Rau, OSCE chairman-in-office and foreign minister of Poland, Helga Maria Schmid, OSCE secretary general, Margareta Cederfel, president of OSCE parliamentary assembly and Swedish lawmaker, and Roberto Montella, secretary general of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
“This step is a breach of international law and fundamental OSCE principles and runs counter to the Minsk agreements,” it said, calling on Russia to immediately revoke this decision.
On Twitter, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili strongly condemned Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions, while voicing support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and peace.
Also, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi said his country will never recognize the breakaway regions, calling on the international community to seek diplomatic efforts to defuse this tension.
Russia’s Putin officially recognized Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent states Monday and signed the relevant agreements in the Kremlin.
The US, with its European allies, has said Russia is setting the stage to invade Ukraine after having amassed over 100,000 troops and heavy equipment in and around its neighbor.
Russia has denied it is preparing to invade and instead accuses Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s expansion towards its borders.
In 2014, Moscow began to support separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained for the past seven years. The conflict has taken more than 13,000 lives, according to the UN.
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