EFA condemns Putin’s violent annexation of territories and the use of minorities as geopolitical pawns
Borders in Europe can be changed through democratic means, but never through violence, threats, or terror
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion to Ukraine on 24th of February, Putin has recurrently violated international laws. He has invaded another state’s sovereign territory by violent means, he has committed war crimes, and recently he has claimed the forceful annexation of four Ukrainian regions. Faced with these challenges, which represent the most serious disruption of peace in Europe since the end of World War II, EFA condemns Putin’s violent annexation of territories and his use of minorities as geopolitical pawns to justify his strategic interests.
EFA believes that borders in Europe can be changed through democratic means, but never through violence, threats, or terror. The expression of the people’s will can only be freely expressed under a democratic and peaceful situation. It is necessary that citizens are given the right conditions to freely express their will.
Self-determination referendums should always guarantee the best conditions for citizens to freely express their will
The expression of the people’s will can only be freely expressed under democratic and peaceful conditions. All opinions should be heard and expressed without repression, freedom of speech must be protected, and, most importantly, human rights must be respected. Of course, these conditions are not remotely present in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, where Putin’s invasion has erased all democratic freedoms. The sham ‘referendums’ convened in these regions are not the expression of its citizens will but a manoeuvre to enforce the population to accept a regime that they do not want through violent and coercive means.
Therefore, EFA condemns these referendums convened under undemocratic conditions and recall that they are a use of minorities and small groups as geopolitical pawns. They are not free to express themselves when there are guns pointed at them. The EU should work to obtain the ultimate outcome of re-establishing peace and democracy in Ukraine and to guarantee the sovereignty of the illegally occupied territories.