In light of strengthened military activities of the Russian armed forces at the border with Ukraine, the statements of official representatives of the Russian Federation on possible deployment of a "peacekeeping" contingent of Russian troops in Ukraine cause our deep concern.
Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vitaliy Churkin argued yesterday that Russia even has international legal basis for deploying its "peacekeepers" in Ukraine and referred to Article 51 of the UN Charter, which, according to the Russian diplomat, was applied during the conflict in the Caucasus year 2008.
However, Mr. Churkin knows well that Article 51 of the UN Charter provides for the inalienable right of a UN member state, against which there was an armed attack, on an individual or collective self-defense. This article clearly states that the measures concerning self-defense should in no way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council. Namely, the UN Security Council has exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the authorization of peacekeeping operations.
Once again here we deal either with unprofessionalism of the Russian diplomat or with another deliberate false concepts introduced by Russia.
Enormously cynical is Russia’s reference to the right of self-defense, whereas Russia herself acts as aggressor having occupied the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and nowadays grossly interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine, destabilizing the situation in the eastern regions of Ukraine.
Russia de facto challenges the system of international law and international relations by making an argument that an armed aggression against another sovereign state can be justified by the right of self-defense.
The international community should give the most serious assessment of the statements and actions of Russia regarding Ukraine and take the most decisive steps with all possible means to stop the aggressive appetite of the Kremlin.
Speculations with slogans alike the so-called "protection of the rights of compatriots, Russians and Russian-speaking population" abroad could serve as a pretext for Russia to wage wars in any area where there is a "Russian-speaking population".
Russia has been destroying the Ukrainian-Russian relations in all spheres, sets herself against the vast majority of the population of Ukraine. Indeed, recent polls indicate that many of the people in Ukraine that used to be ready for closer integration with the former Soviet Union space, including Russia, are now totally against this and are ready to defend their land against Russian aggression. And this trend is increasing.
The vast majority of the citizens of Ukraine, including a native Russian language speakers, fears of unpredictable, totalitarian, insidious Russia. Russia exported rampant banditry, fascist manifestations, national intolerance, and anti-Semitism – irrelevant and inappropriate phenomena for the tolerant Ukrainian society – to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.
The sooner the Kremlin "analysts" stop misleading themselves with fairy tales that Russian troops would be welcomed with bread and salt in eastern region of Ukraine, the faster we will find a way out of the current crisis.
Therefore, to prevent "hotheads" in Russia from further reckless and irresponsible actions, we deem it necessary to once again stress the following:
First, the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine is not directed against Russia or Russian-speaking citizens. It only aims to protect civilians from terrorist activities, murder, intimidation, intolerance and anti-Semitism of armed gangs who commit iniquity with the connivance and direct participation of the Russian special services.
Russian leadership should not hang tags making false statements that Ukrainian authorities “unleashed a war" or "commit a crime” against their own people. These statements are another outright lie, deliberate substitution of concepts and provocation by Russia.
Russia has neither legal nor moral right to make such assessments regarding the counter-terrorist efforts of the Ukrainian authorities, given disproportionate brutality of anti-terrorist operations in the Russian Federation itself.
Second, Ukrainians, including Russian-speaking ones, do not require so-called "peacekeepers" from the Russian Federation.
It is known that the so-called "peacemaking" activities of Russians in Moldova (Transnistria) and Georgia (South Ossetia, Abkhazia) did not bring peace, but rather resulted in unjustified casualties, refugees, humanitarian disasters and socio-economic crisis.
And third, if the Russian leadership and Russian parliamentarians are really interested in the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine, the only correct and welcomed steps would be:
- revocation of the Federation Council Resolution Nr 48, which allows the Russian President to use the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine;
- termination of the so-called " tactical maneuvers " and withdrawal of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine;
- denunciation of an armed militants who serve under the flag of Russia, and forcing them to lay down their arms and adhere to the peaceful political means to protect their views.
This would make a significant practical contribution by the Russian side in the implementation of the Geneva document, steps that the world so much anticipates from the Kremlin nowadays.