Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement on February 25, 2014:
In connection with the statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on February 24, 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine believes it important to emphasize the following:
An acute social-political crisis, accompanied by violence on the part of the regime, demanded swift and effective action to defend the people’s rights. This was the purpose of the agreement resolving the crisis in Ukraine, signed on February 21, 2014. However, the departure of the leadership from their posts signaled their unwillingness to follow the agreement’s directives, creating obstacles to their proper execution.
Concurrently, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as the only legislative body and legitimate institution of government, assumed the responsibility for normalizing the situation in the country and reached a decision on the enforcement of most of the provisions of the agreement. Specifically, the decision was made to return to the 2004 Constitution, and to hold early presidential elections on May 25, 2014. The process of forming a government of national unity is under way. Key decisions of the Verkhovna Rada aiming to normalize the situation have been accepted by a constitutional majority of deputies of Ukraine representing all parliamentary political interests.
The legitimacy of the decisions taken by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has been recognized by many of our country’s international partners.
Today public peace and order have been restored in Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine. To reach that goal, state law enforcement agencies, based on principles of openness and tolerance, have established effective cooperation with representatives of local communities. As part of the restoration of national unity, priority has been given to the interests of citizens of Ukraine from all the regions and to the protection of their legal rights.
In this manner, all necessary steps are being taken to lead the state out of the current crisis and to stabilize society.
Allegations contained in the Statement of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation on threats to civil rights, particularly to national and religious minorities, are false and not based on evidence. Equally biased and untrue are allegations that “there are terrorist methods to suppress dissent” or there is spreading of “neo-Nazi ideology” by political parties that had gained the support of the majority of citizens in the parliamentary elections of 2012, and who today are taking on the responsibility for the situation in the country.
At this stage, Ukraine is particularly interested in the support of the international community to ensure economic stability and to prevent potential threats to the sovereignty of the state. In this regard, specific expectations are placed on the guarantor states of the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine in accordance with the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Budapest Memorandum).
In this context, Ukraine attaches great importance to the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation as one of the parties to the Budapest Memorandum on the inadmissibility of external interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine and the importance of creating conditions for the development of Ukraine as part of the pan-European family.
For our part, we reiterate our commitment to Ukrainian-Russian relations on a new, truly equal and neighborly basis, which was particularly emphasized by the acting President of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine O. V. Turchynov, in his address to the Ukrainian people. Immediately after the formation of the new Government of Ukraine, the Ukrainian side will be ready to restore full-scale bilateral dialogue within the institutions of the Ukrainian-Russian international commission.
Translated by Anna Mostovych
Edited by Michael Donovan and Robin Rohrback