Statement by President of Latvia, Speaker of Saeima, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on Russia's interference in Ukraine
Latvia strongly stands for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and is of the opinion that any measures aimed at splitting Ukrainian society and questioning the territorial integrity of the country must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
The decision by the Russian Federation to sanction the use of armed forces in the territory of Ukraine is a gross violation of international law and a direct interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. The international community does not have the slightest doubt that the said decision is only a hypocritical attempt at disguising behind legal rhetoric the military interference that has actually taken place in the inalienable part of Ukraine, the Crimea. Russia's arguments regarding such manner of the use of armed forces are completely unjustified and in a direct contradiction with Russia's international commitments.
By acting this way, Russia is undermining the fundamental principles of the international security system. We remind that under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom guarantee independence, integrity and security to Ukraine. Latvia expects that the territorial integrity of Ukraine will be fully respected.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is a legitimately elected body of public administration and its decisions are legitimate and cannot be called into question. The refusal by the Russian Federation to come into contacts with the legitimate leadership of Ukraine is not indicative of Russia's willingness to deal with the current situation constructively and in a peaceful manner. The tension and escalation of the situation, including the course towards open armed clashes, and the possible victims of these will be on Russia's conscience.
Latvia calls on the international community to actively express its strong support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. International organisations - the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and others should act without delay. Latvia urges that the developments in Ukraine be discussed at the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council and NATO's North Atlantic Council.
In our hearts and minds we are together with the Ukrainian people!