Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest in relation to holding by the Russian Federation on 8 September 2019 on the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol of the so-called “local elections” to illegal institutions established by the Russian occupational administration.
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol are temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and their legal regime is defined by the norms of international humanitarian law. One of the principal obligations of the occupying power is to respect national legislation of the sovereign power, namely Ukraine.
So-called «local elections» constitute flagrant violation of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine as well as of the basic norms and principles of international law, enshrined in particular the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949, the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe of August 1, 1975, the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of December 5, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine” of March 27, 2014, “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” of 2016-2018, as well as of the number of international agreements to which Ukraine and Russia are parties.
Results of this illegal voting are null and void, they will have no legal consequences whatsoever. Neither Ukraine nor international community will recognize them. All those responsible for organization and conduct of the illegal voting in the temporarily occupied Crimea will be held accountable according to the Ukrainian legislation.
New violations of international law by the Russian Federation prove the necessity of strengthening, rather than only maintaining, the international political and economic pressure on the Russian Federation aimed at restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including by restrictive measures related to the occupation of Crimea. Any steps to ease the sanctions’ pressure, the so-called “normalization and building dialogue” like the unconditional restoration of Russian activities in the PACE would only assure the occupying power in its impunity and encourage it to new violations.
The MFA of Ukraine calls upon the international partners to take a strong stance towards Russian illegal actions on organizing and holding the so-called “local elections” in the temporarily occupied Crimea; to prevent contacts on the national and regional levels with illegal institutions of the Russian occupational administration and its representatives; as well as to step up efforts aimed at stopping the occupation of Crimea.