Riga, 5 April 2014 - The leaders of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly affirmed their support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdrew the Russian Parliament’s Associate membership of the Assembly. The NATO PA’s Bureau has been authorised to meet representatives of the Russian Parliament to explain the Assembly’s decision and to discuss options for future dialogue.
Speaking at the conclusion of the NATO PA’s Standing Committee – the body bringing together the leaders of the 28 member delegations of the Assembly - NATO PA President Hugh Bayley (United Kingdom) stated: “The decisions of both Houses of the Russian Parliament to authorise President Putin to use military force in Ukraine, and to ratify the illegal annexation of Crimea, make it impossible for our Assembly to maintain normal relations with Russian parliamentarians.
Dialogue depends on mutual trust and that trust has broken down. “The Russian government’s aggression in Ukraine and its rush to annex Crimea show its flagrant disregard for international law and its treaty obligations. These actions undermine 25 years of painstaking efforts by the Alliance to build a strategic partnership with Russia. Worryingly, it is still not clear whether Russia intends to make further violations of Ukrainian territorial integrity.” Meeting with Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Koshulynskyi, the Assembly’s leaders also restated their unanimous support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and forthcoming presidential elections. They stressed their solidarity with Ukraine as it deals with daunting political, diplomatic, security and economic challenges.
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