Stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine! UWC calls for peace – but not at all costs
As the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia prepare to meet on December 9, 2019, in Paris for their Normandy Format talks, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) reiterates its position that Russia must be compelled to end its military aggression against Ukraine. For more than five years, Russia and its proxies have been waging a bloody war against Ukraine, having invaded and occupied parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, after annexing Crimea in 2014. Russia’s war in Ukraine has resulted in over 13,000 deaths, 30,000 wounded and 1.5 million internally displaced people, and it continues to this day.
The UWC calls upon Germany, France, Ukraine and its allies to maintain a clear and unequivocal position that:
1) No elections can take place in the Russian-occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts until all Russian troops, mercenaries, weapons and materiel are withdrawn from Ukrainian territory, Ukraine regains complete control of the Ukrainian side of the Ukraine-Russia border, a reasonable normalization period will allow for the reestablishment of democratic institutions and the displaced residents of the Donbas region are allowed to peacefully return to their homes.
2) Ukraine’s strategic course for Euro-Atlantic and NATO integration, as set out in Ukraine’s Constitution, is non-negotiable and immutable.
3) International sanctions on Russia must continue to be strengthened and expanded until Russia de-occupies the sovereign Ukrainian territory of Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
4) There can be no negotiations with the leaders of the Russia-controlled terrorist organizations of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR).
5) Russia bears full responsibility for rebuilding war-torn Ukraine and paying reparations to all affected by their war against Ukraine and downing of Malaysian airliner MH17.
Any concessions on these “red lines” will seriously impair the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state, security in Europe and cause civil strife within the country – which is exactly Russia’s intent. A “peace at all cost” formula will legitimize the foreign occupying forces in Ukraine, create lasting divisions in the country, and divert Ukraine from its path to Euro-Atlantic integration.
“We are deeply concerned that the upcoming Normandy Format talks in Paris could be guided by the self-serving interests of different parties. As such, we call on Ukraine’s peace negotiations to take place in a transparent manner with the participation of all parties that will enable Ukraine to protect the best interests of its state and people,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “We call upon the Normandy Four leaders to establish a clear road map and timelines for peace, and Russia’s liability to rebuild the war-torn region and pay reparations to the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have suffered from Russia’s senseless war against Ukraine.”