Statement of the Lithuanian MFA on illegitimate “elections” in Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast, parts of the Ukrainian territory
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns illegitimate “voting” conducted by the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” on 11 November that is contrary to norms of international law.
Such “elections” gravely violate the Minsk agreements as well as Ukrainian laws and do not create conditions for free expression of political will in the Ukrainian regions mentioned above. Further invasion of the Russian army into the Ukrainian territory, continuing violations of ceasefire, and the escalation of the situation in and militarisation of the Azov Sea are of particular concern. Such illegal actions grossly violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine and international agreements and will seriously affect future relations between the international community and Russia.
Lithuania firmly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We underline once again that the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian laws are the only legal basis for municipal elections on the Ukrainian territory.
We reiterate our condemnation of the continuing military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the on-going escalation of the situation and militarisation of the Azov Sea, and we call on Russia to comply with its commitments, undertaken in Minsk, to withdraw its armed forces from the Ukrainian territory, to terminate any support to illegal armed formations in Donbas, and to restore control on the Russian-Ukrainian border. We underscore the importance of sanctions on Russia which should continue until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented and the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored.
76 years ago, on 18 May 1944, the Soviet regime criminally deported the Crimean Tatar people from the territory of their historic residence - Crimea - to distant areas of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.
Co-authored by Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
This year, as we commemorate 75 years since the end of hostilities in Europe, we primarily honour those who fought against, and ultimately defeated, Nazism. We also remember the tens of millions of innocent victims who lost their lives during the war, including those six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazis and their collaborators.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the return of Ukrainian citizens who were illegally captured and detained by Russia. Among the released prisoners is Oleh Sencov, winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2018, Edem Bekirov, a Crimean Tatar activist and other political prisoners, as well as 24 sailors captured during the aggressive actions of Russia in the Strait of Kerch in 2018. We share the joy of the families of those released and wish them a prompt recovery.