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Apr 17, 2014, 11:10 am

Yulia Tymoshenko: the territorial integrity of Ukraine must be unconditionally restored

 
_apm8429.jpgAn open appeal by Yulia Tymoshenko to the participants of the international meeting of Ukraine, EU, US, and Russian Federation representatives in Geneva on 17 April 2014:

- Today, the first meeting of representatives of Ukraine, the European Union, the USA and the Russian Federation will take place in Geneva in order to discuss the situation that has arisen as a result of Russia’s aggression and violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian State.

Millions of Ukrainians will follow the meeting with anxiety and, at the same time, hope. We are ready to consider all constructive proposals. But in no case should the Geneva talks become a step to the legitimization of annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

Ukraine’s position on this issue has been clear – Crimea must be freed. The territorial integrity of Ukraine must be unconditionally restored. Russia must prove with practical actions that it abandons expansionist policy and stops violating fundamental provisions of international law and fundamental human rights and freedoms. This must be a key demand of the international community to Russia’s leadership and a prerequisite for lifting the sanctions against people responsible for the aggression.

All Ukrainian citizens expect from the Geneva meeting firm international agreements concerning ceasing by Russia its military and economic pressure on Ukraine and stopping the undeclared new-type war against our state, in particular, in southern and eastern regions.

If there is no solution found, the Ukrainian people will say its word. Ukrainians are ready to defend their land with arms. But Ukraine doesn’t want war, so all possible efforts must be made to stop it.

At the same time, there are a number of key points that by no means can be a matter of international negotiations. First of all, no issues of constitutional order and administrative and territorial division of Ukraine can be on the agenda – Ukrainians will themselves decide on this and other issues related to its domestic development. They will do this by democratic and transparent means and taking into account the opinion of local communities of all Ukraine’s regions.

Holding the presidential elections in Ukraine on 25 May also cannot be debated. These elections must become a powerful factor in stabilizing the domestic political situation; they will facilitate consolidation of national unity and understanding. And finally, Ukraine’s foreign policy course cannot be a matter of international agreements, as determining the course independently is one of the most important prerogatives of Ukrainian people.

But it is not the fate of Ukraine alone that is at on the agenda of your meeting. It is the fate of the entire international structure of peace as it has existed since the close of World War II.

Should you fail to act to preserve the international order that has prevented war, should you surrender to the temptation to buy peace today by storing up the causes of the aggression and occupation for tomorrow, you run the risk of turning the name of the city of Geneva into as infamous a place in world diplomatic history as Munich and Yalta. Europe’s unity and European peace are too precious to be bartered away.

Allow Ukraine to be dismembered and Russian aggression, which undermines the whole system of international law, to go unanswered, and your presence in Geneva will be remembered in history as the catalyst for ruining stability and security on the continent. What security and territorial integrity will remain then for other European nations in the future?

If you wish to be remembered as peacemakers, now is the time to stand firm.

The four-party meeting in Geneva will take place on the eve of the great Easter Day, which is celebrated by all Christians of the world on the same day this year. I wish this deep symbolism helps participants of the Geneva talks to reach concrete results that will facilitate restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and stop the war in Europe.

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