Russia needs to keep its promises to international community

  • 2014-04-21
  • From wire reports, VILNIUS

Ambassador of Ukraine to Lithuania Valerii Zhovtenko last week issued a statement on the events in Ukraine, one in which he refutes Moscow’s version of events in Ukraine:

After the anschluss of Crimea, the Kremlin went over to the second stage of the war on Ukraine. They started a covert operation in the country's east.

They stick to the same routine as in Crimea. First - deploying professional military and mercenaries on Ukrainian territory. Second - paying local radicals and criminals to pose as "pro-Russian forces." Third - trying to make it look like a turmoil coming from beneath. But it doesn't look like that at all. Unlike the December-February Euromaidan in Kiev, it's not a domestic uprising, but a full-blown foreign aggression on Ukraine.

There is valid proof of "special-ops groups" being deployed on the ground. These are not Ukrainians. These are professional Russian mercenaries waging a war on Ukrainian territory. Some of the faces have been recognized from Crimea. Some of the faces are familiar from Georgia-2008. Saboteurs with Russian citizenship are being apprehended throughout the country. These and other things, including intercepted radio traffic confirm: these are foreigners, invaders.

Ukraine is fighting back. It cannot allow the Russian-equipped, Russian-paid and Russian-deployed special-ops units to spread fear on the Ukrainian people. The population in eastern Ukraine is scared of strangers in green uniforms coming and ruining their daily lives. Stopping them, protecting our own people is the direct obligation of Ukraine's government. And in doing so it's entitled to count on global support.

Russia thinks it has found a foolproof way to conduct a war - not calling things by their names and flatly denying the truth. But a lie is a lie and aggression is an aggression - no matter how Russia calls it and how much smoke gets blown by the Russian propaganda machine. The world must see it. The evidence is all over the place.

On April 14 at the UN Security Council meeting, called by Russia, it "expressed concern" about the situation which, in fact, was created by Russia itself. Remarkably, Russia didn't call any Security Council meetings when thousands were killed in Chechnya. But this time around - they claim to be "concerned." Well, if they are, then there are three simple steps that would solve the problem: (1) stop doing what Russia has been doing in Ukraine for the last two months, (2) start immediately a settlement process and (3) return to the boundaries of international law.

Talks between Ukraine and Russia with intermediation of the U.S. and the EU in Geneva on April 17 made it possible to begin the process of de-escalation of the situation. Most important is that the international community managed to get the Russians back into the mainstream of civilized international relations and international law.

Now, we have got the Geneva Statement of April 17, 2014 signed where all parties, including the Russian Federation, pledged to refrain from violence, intimidation and provocation. It was also agreed that amnesty will be granted to protestors after their full disarmament and de-occupation of state buildings. We expect that the Russian side adheres to its obligations and ceases the activities of sabotage and intelligence groups in Ukraine.