12:57 Sep. 21, 2016
Tom Malinowski: Russia uses threats and force to keep Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine from acting on their own sovereign decisions
Nowhere else Russia's intervention in internal affairs of other states has been more brazen and bloody than in the conflict in Ukraine, U.S. human rights envoy said on September 19.
The conflict in the Donbas has cost almost 10,000 lives and displaced 1.7 million people, but Russia continues to fuel it by arming, training and commanding so-called "separatists," Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor told reporters.
"There must be full implementation of the Minsk agreements to end Russian aggression in the Donbas and return the international border to Ukrainian control. And in Crimea, Russia must end its occupation, stop its repression, including of the Tatar minority, and return control of the peninsula to Ukraine. With the vast majority of countries in the world, we steadfastly refuse to recognise Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea," Malinowski said in Warsaw where he was attending a conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on human rights and democracy.
The U.S. diplomat has also criticised Russian government for persecution of the human rights and civil society groups branded as "foreign agents":
"Let's be clear about where we do see true interference in the internal affairs of states today: we see it in outright military intervention to annex territory or impose one's will on another country. When Russia, for example, uses threats, force or other forms of coercion to try to keep Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine from acting on sovereign decisions to deepen their integration with Europe, that is the most blatant example of the kind of intervention that the Helsinki Final Act was meant to stop," Malinowski stressed.