Strasbourg, 14.03.2014 – In a decision adopted today, the Council of Europe’s Ministers’ Deputies reiterated their solidarity with Ukraine and its people. They underlined the importance of maintaining the efforts towards a political solution in the country and the contribution of the Council of Europe to that end. They also expressed grave concern regarding the intention to hold a referendum in Crimea and welcomed the Secretary General’s decision to submit the question of the referendum to the Venice Commission.
Following a request by Ukraine, the Committee of Ministers instructed the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to review, in the light of recent developments, the situation of national minorities in Ukraine and to report back on its findings as soon as possible.
The Committee also welcomed the establishment of a tripartite working party involving the Parliament and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Council of Europe, to bring forward the legislative reforms.
Welcoming the decision, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland stressed that "protecting the rights of all minorities is indispensable for securing the unity, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.