Holding presidential elections in occupied Ukrainian territories a grave violation of Ukraine's sovereignty - Baltic foreign ministers

  • 2024-02-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Russia, by planning to hold its presidential elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, gravely violates Ukraine's sovereignty and international law and and the United Nations Charter, the foreign ministers of the Baltic states say in a joint statement. 

As LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry, the foreign ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia note in their statement that almost ten years have passed since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion and aggression against Ukraine.

As this brutal war continues, claiming lives of Ukrainians and causing enormous human suffering and destruction, Russia plans to organize so-called elections on the dates coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea, which is yet another blatant provocation by Russia, the Baltic ministers state. 

"Russia has announced that it intends holding the elections also in temporarily occupied and illegally annexed territories of Ukraine. This step is difficult to treat as anything but yet another attempt to legalize the temporary occupation and annexation of the Ukrainian territories," the statement says. 

The Baltic foreign ministers underline that Russia's intention to hold its elections in  the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine amounts to a grave violation of international law, United Nations Charger and Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We do not and will not recognize holding of such elections nor their results in Ukraine’s territories temporarily occupied and illegally annexed by Russia. Russia has no legitimate basis for any such action on the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine. We strongly condemn these unacceptable decisions by Russia’s political leadership. Russia’s political leadership and those involved in organizing such action will bear the consequences of these illegal activities," the statement says. 

The Baltic foreign ministers reaffirm their support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukraine. They also note that the upcoming presidential "elections" in Russia will be neither free nor fair.

"In the environment of total crackdown on opposition and independent media, with lack of credible alternative candidates and without the international monitoring, these elections will lack any democratic legitimacy. Meanwhile we confirm that Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania continue to respect our international obligations to ensure the security of diplomatic missions and their staff in our countries, and will continue doing so," the statement says.