The organizing committee of the international march Stop Putin’s war in Ukraine has released an open letter to the leaders of the European Council, in which they argue for the necessity to retain sanctions against Russia.
From the organizers:
“To support our letter, please print it out and send it with your personal message to the following address:
The European Council
General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union
Rue de la Loi 175, 1048 Bruxelles, Belgium”
To the leaders of the European Council, June 3 2016
Your decision on the renewal of sanctions at the EU summit in Brussels on 28./29..06.2016
on the EU summit you are going to decide whether the sanctions against the Russian Federation will be extended or not.
I represent the members of an organization called “Stop Putin Stop WAR in Ukraine: Global event / Mіжнародня акція,” which can be found online at the following link.
This organization will organize demonstrations on Friday, 10 June 2016 by 18h, simultaneously in the cities Zurich, Paris, London, Kiev, Moscow, Barcelona, Prague, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Budapest, Lisbon, Riga, Munich, Frankfurt, Lausanne, Drohobych, Zaporizhzhia, Cherkasy, Kirovohrad against the Russian war in Ukraine.
On behalf of the members of this group, I appeal urgently to you to extend the sanctions against the Russian Federation for the following reasons:
As before, the Crimea is annexed by the Russian Federation which is against the international law. In addition, the resident ethnic group of Crimean Tatars will be persecuted, people are arrested, kidnapped or simply disappear.
The so-called Ukraine crisis in the Donbas is not a crisis or a civil war, but an illegal undeclared war by Russia against Ukraine, which also violates the Budapest Treaty, signed by the countries Ukraine, Russia, Britain, France and the United States. This Treaty guarantees the inviolability of the borders of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, there is proof that Russian soldiers, Russian tanks, Russian artillery and other Russian weapons are involved in the Ukrainian War in Donbas in order to support the illegal fighting paramilitaries, which are called separatists.
The Russian government has so far met no single agreement of the concluded Minsk peace agreement.
The war in Donbas has so far expelled about two million Ukrainian IDPs from their homes and brought untold suffering to the people living there and the entire country of Ukraine. According to official figures at least 10,000 Ukrainians died in the war so far, according to the findings of the intelligence it might even be more than 50,000 Ukrainians. Furthermore, cruel war crimes and human rights violations against civilians have been committed in this war in the areas controlled by Russia and the paramilitary units called people’s republics Donetsk and Luhansk, that make both areas to de facto legal vacuum. These facts are already the subject of investigations by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. According to reports in the public-service television there is the report of 79 illegal prisons and at least 6,000 victims of torture.
The organization I represent pleads to put pressure on the government of the Russian Federation by the extension and intensification of the previously valid sanctions. Only in this way can the legitimate state be restored and the unspeakable suffering of the people bring to an end. A refusal to renew the sanctions would send to Russia a completely wrong signal, and not be considered as an offer to defuse the situation, but as a weakness. The resumption and strengthening of the business relation also does not lead to the creation of the climate for better political framework conditions, but on the contrary to a renewed and further upgrade of the Russian military and the security apparatus and thus to new aggressions.
Specifically, the organization I represent, calls:
- All Russian troops and all Russian tanks, heavy artillery and other weapons must be withdrawn from Ukraine
- Increase the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and ensure its ground presence 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Provide monitor access to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Russian border that are temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authorities. It must finally be taken to ensure that Ukraine regains the freedom of access and control of their borders. As the Minsk agreements are not fulfilled by Russia, there has been a dramatic deterioration of the situation along the demarcation line in Donbas recently, wherein by Russian attacks daily Ukrainian soldiers and civilians die.
- Continue the sanctions against Russia because Russia does not fulfill the Minsk agreements. In further non-compliance with the Minsk peace agreement stricter sanctions against Russia should be imposed!
Should this requirement not be met, I would point out that activists have announced publicly to join the indefinite hunger strike until the demands are met.
I therefore urgently request to take the matter seriously.
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