16 March sees five years since the so-called referendum in Crimea. The voting in the territory of Ukraine in the presence of Russian military and with their active participation has been recognised by the international community as unlawful and invalid. By the annexation of Crimea, Russia has demonstrated flagrant disregard for the principles of international law thereby causing threat to security in Europe.
The United Nations General Assembly, in its Resolution of 27 March 2014 “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine” and Resolution of 17 December 2018 “Problem of the Militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as Parts of the Black and Azov”, have clearly condemned the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Latvia consistently pursues the policy of non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea and condemns in the strongest terms Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. A coordinated policy of sanctions sends a clear message to Russia that violations of international law are fraught with consequences. This 15 March, the European Union, the United States and Canada introduced sanctions against persons involved in the 2018 November incident near the Crimean Bridge, when Russia seized Ukrainian vessels and arrested sailors.
The policy pursued by the EU, the United States and Canada on the issue of Crimea and underpinned by the same fundamental principles is proof to the transatlantic unity and the stance taken by the democratic society against violations of international law. Latvia believes that it is important to maintain such understanding of the issues of regional and global security.