"Crimea's annexation and now the destabilization of eastern Ukraine is not about the protection of Russian-speaking minorities or alleged Ukraine's radical extremism. It is about obstructing and preventing the May 25 elections," said Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, permanent representative of Lithuania to the United Nations, delivering a statement in the United Nations Security Council meeting on the human rights situation in Ukraine, reports ELTA.
Lithuania's representative stressed that the report of the UN Office of the High Representative on Human Rights published on April 15 clearly refutes Russia's inflammatory narrative, which it uses to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine. The report states that human rights violations of the ethnic minorities in eastern Ukraine, Crimea and elsewhere in the country were neither widespread nor systematic, and that since the current government took power at the end of February, tensions have decreased, along with allegations of human rights violations. In this relation she urged Russia to stop spreading disinformation and anti-Ukrainian and anti-European propaganda.
Ambassador Murmokaite underlined the importance of impartial reporting on human rights situation in Ukraine (HRMMU) as this will help to prevent manipulation of information and expressed support for the work of Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. The mission must continue its work on the entire territory of Ukraine, she said, including Crimea, in order to ensure independent monitoring of human rights situation on the peninsula.
U.S. Senator John McCain, speaking at a press conference in Riga on Tuesday, noted that if every nation of the world would behave as Russia does, in invading or threatening to invade another country in order to protect Russian-speakers, there would be endless conflict around the globe. He was responding to a question on whether it is acceptable for Russia to invade another country on the pretext of protecting fellow Russian-speakers. “It would be a gross violation of international law,” he said.
McCain was part of a delegation of U.S.senators, including Senators John Barrasso and Senator John Hoeven, on a visit to Latvia from April 15 to April 16.
Ukraine's current government is set to address a wide range of issues, including human rights violations, language policy, rights of ethnic minorities, decentralization, combating corruption, and strengthening accountability and the rule of law. Lithuania's permanent representative called on the international community to support Ukrainian government's efforts to organize free and fair elections on May 25.
Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonoviche, who briefed the UN Security Council on April 17, said that the next report on human rights situation in Ukraine will be issued on May 15. The meeting was organized at the request of the Lithuanian delegation.