Oleh Pankevych
Deputy of Ukraine
Member of the political council of "Svoboda"

July 11 2014 Comment as to the statements of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov

During the 9th July meeting in Moscow between the Foreign Ministers of Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and his Italian counterpart Federica Mogherini, Mr Lavrov afforded a number of attacks vis-a-vis Ukraine.

While asked to comment on the words of his Ukrainian colleague Pavlo Klimkin as to returning Crimean peninsula to Ukraine, Mr Lavrov said the following:

"A historic justice was made in full compliance with the norms of international law and based on free and just expression of popular will of the Crimean nation, which in its overwhelming majority voted for reunification with the Russian Federation. We understand that due to the circumstances that were taking place in the past, there are economic and other interests of citizens and foreign organizations including Ukrainian. We stand ready to consider such issues. The Russian bodies that deal with this are the ministries, the apparatus of the Russian Federation President's representative for Crimea, the authorities of Crimean Republic and those of Sevastopol city. We invite everybody, who would like to resolve concrete issue… to address those bodies… ". He also added.

"… in your question I feel a hidden hint as to the possibility of some attack on the Russian territory of Crimean Republic and that of Sevastopol. I would advise everybody against this as we have a Doctrine of national security which prescribes the steps to be undertaken in such situation".

It is obvious that Mr Lavrov in his speeches counts upon a short memory of international community and full neglect of the UN resolutions when he dears to distort facts that took place in the past and the reality that exists today. Therefore I consider it to be my duty to comment on his words.

The unsubstantiated and illegal entry of the armed Russian formations into the Ukrainian territory at the end of February 2014, the announcement of referendum in violation of Ukrainian legislation, conduct of voting under the presence of the armed Russian militaries can not comply with any norms of international law! This position was eloquently proven during the March vote of the UN General Assembly for the Resolution calling states, international organizations and agencies not to recognize the changes in the status of Crimea and Sevastopol and also refrain from the actions directed at undermining territorial integrity of Ukraine. 100 countries expressed their support to the Resolution while only 11 voted against it.

Regarding property issues. If one even "puts aside" the crying and unacceptable international and legal aspects of the Russian aggression, the overall cost of the Ukrainian assets caught by Russia in Crimea is estimated at about 100 bn dollars. When one talks about a robbery of such proportions, a proper institution for settling such property claims should not be the authorities illegally created by aggressor state on the Ukrainian territory, but rather respected international court instances.

Regarding the "hint as to the possibility of some attack on the Russian territory… " and the reference to the text of "Doctrine of national security" of the Russian Federation. Taking into account that this document is not available on the web-site of National Security Council of the Russian Federation, it is very likely that Mr Lavrov made a mistake meaning in reality a Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation. The point 22 of the Doctrine allows using nuclear weapons "… in case of aggression against the Russian Federation using conventional weapons, when the very existence of [Russian] state is under threat".

The reference to such norms is a serious threat put forward by the state having status of security guarantor of Ukraine according to the norms of Budapest Memorandum. Thus these words must not go unnoticed by the other guarantor states of Ukrainian security in the meaning of Budapest Memorandum and also by the UN Security Council. In reality, regaining Ukrainian control over the occupied territories of the Crimean peninsula can not be considered as "aggression against the Russian Federation" because the universally recognized borders of Russian Federation lie beyond the limits of Crimea.

Press Service of Svoboda Party