Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Communique Regarding the resolution “About Crimean Independence” adopted on March 17, 2014
On March 17, 2014 the illegitimate Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a resolution entitled “About Crimean Independence.” With regard to this development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine states the following:
1. The Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a resolution on March 6, 2014 No. 1702-6/14 “About holding a general referendum in Crimea” violated the constitutional principle of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and acted beyond powers allocated to them by the Constitution of Ukraine, the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and other legislative and regulatory acts.
The violation was recognized by Ukraine’s Constitutional Court in their decision dated March 14, 2014 No. RP/2014 and concluded the aforementioned resolution as unconstitutional and therefore annulled.
2. Given the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, on March 15, 2014 the Parliament of Ukraine adopted resolution No. 891-VII that dissolved the Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and as a result, depriving it of any legitimacy.
3. Without regard for the laws or the sovereign territorial jurisdiction of Ukraine, of which the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is a subject, self-proclaimed authorities in Crimea held a plebiscite on March 16, 2014 that violates not only the current legislation of Ukraine, but also the fundamental rules of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, the Statute of the Council of Europe, the CSCE Final Act of 1975 as well as other documents of the CSCE/OSCE, the 1991 Agreement Establishing the Commonwealth of the Independent States and others.
An abundance of evidence including photos and video materials, eyewitness accounts of events, including those of foreign nationals prove that the conditions of the so-called “referendum” failed to meet the democratic standards of referendums developed within the framework of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Moreover, there remain serious reservations about the expressed free will of the population of this region of Ukraine because since February 26, 2014 the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have de facto occupied Crimea.
4. On the basis of the results of this pseudo-democratic “self-expression”, the Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, whose mandate was constitutionally terminated, on March 17, 2014 issued a resolution that “proclaimed the region an independent sovereign state in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status” and appealed to the United Nations and states to “recognize the independent state created by the people of Crimea.”
5. Given that the independence of Crimea was declared by an illegitimate authority based on the results of an unconstitutional referendum held in egregious violation of common European standards, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine appealed to all members of the international community to refrain from providing international recognition for the “Crimean Republic.”
6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stresses that within modern international law, it is generally the duty of states not recognize the creation of self-proclaimed pseudo-states or the situation that may be connected to their creation, if it is the result of the unlawful use of force. On this issue, Opinio juris has repeatedly been expressed in conventions and declarations as well as international instruments, in the practice of states, arbitration and jurisdictional authorities.
7. The declaration of independence by the “Crimean Republic” is a direct consequence of the application of the use of force and threats against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, and in view of Russia’s nuclear power status, has a particularly dangerous character for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity as well as for international peace and security in general.
A clear example of the use of threats and force against Ukraine is the military occupation by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea two weeks prior to the date of the plebiscite.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine asserts, on the basis of customary norms and international law that the international community is obliged not to recognize Crimea as a subject of international law, or any situation, treaty or agreement that may arise or be achieved by this territory.
8. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes that a breach of this obligation, that is, the international recognition of the “Crimean Republic”, whose declaration has been devoid of constitutionality and lacks any international legal support, will mean, that subjects who offer recognition will commit an internationally illegal act and violate fundamental norms of international law and generally recognized principles of coexistence of states.
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