By its illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia violated both international law and a number of its own international commitments, including in the Budapest Memorandum.
This was said by Permanent Representative of the UK to the OSCE Neil Bush during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on March 4.
“In Crimea, Russia violated the first principle of international law – that countries may not acquire territory or change borders by force. Russia’s actions flagrantly violated its own international commitments including in: Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the Budapest memorandum. Their actions undermined and continue to undermine the security of us all. The passage of time will never make them acceptable,” he said.
On the seventh anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea, the British representative recalled that on February 20, 2014, “Russia’s military operation to illegally seize 10,000 square miles of Ukrainian territory began.”
“In blatant violation of its OSCE principles and commitments, Russia deployed military troops to the Crimean peninsula, which the Kremlin had decided to take by force. Russia then tried to give its actions a veneer of legitimacy with a sham referendum. This so-called referendum was conducted in a heavily militarized environment; was clearly illegal under the Ukrainian Constitution; and the result remains unrecognized by the international community,” the British ambassador said.
As a reminder, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances refers to three identical political agreements signed at the OSCE conference in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994 to provide security assurances by its signatories relating to the accession of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear powers: the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. China and France gave somewhat weaker individual assurances in separate documents.
In 2014, in violation of this agreement and other international legal acts regarding relations with Ukraine, Russia carried out an open armed aggression against Ukraine by occupying Crimea and unleashing an armed conflict in Donbas.
While I greatly appreciate the reminder of Putin’s crimes this is just another history lesson without any action. Putin will not change his behavior with harsh words or another history lesson. Do we now enforce “security assurances” with accusations? How about calling for a summit of the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum to agree on what should be done with the violator of the Budapest Memorandum? There should be consequences for violating all these treaties and laws…otherwise they don’t mean anything and if they don’t mean anything, why the hell would anyone sign them in the future?
Why bother coming out with nice words we have all heard a million times, if there is no “remove your trash from Ukraine, or else!” at the end of it?
And they should lump everything together. Not just the Donbas, or Crimea or Transdnistria, Ossetia and Abkhazia. All together, 3 countries minimum and 1 scheming demon behind all of it. Don’t say Russia or the Kremlin call it what it is. Putin’s invasions and illegal occupations.
Yeah, it pisses me off when the US or EU say they are sanctioning Russian officials responsible for this act of atrocity or that act of atrocity, instead of sanctioning the guy giving the orders.
Well it’s been a tradition for the US not to sanction or murder a nation’s leader but then sometimes we make exceptions like for Hussein or Gaddafi…
The only hope, I’m afraid, is if the rabid ruSSkis actually collide or shoot down an American jet and Biden find’s his backbone.