23:13 Oct. 12, 2016
Russia claimed guilty of aggression and responsible for crimes in occupied Ukrainian territories
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has said that only "significant and measurable progress" by Russia towards implementation of previous resolutions of the Assembly can form the basis for restoration of a fully-fledged, mutually respectful dialogue, PACE official site informs.
In a resolution on the political consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine, based on a report by Kristýna Zelienková (Czech Republic), PACE called on Russia to "reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea and allow Ukraine to regain control of the peninsula", to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine and stop military supplies to separatists.
It also condemned the recent Duma elections held in occupied Crimea as "a blunt violation of international law" which effectively compromised the legitimacy of the Russian parliament.
Read also: Full text of the first PACE resolution
The Assembly warned of the development of a "frozen" or "semi-frozen" conflict, prolonging instability and insecurity in Ukraine and the whole of Europe. Russia's actions had also undermined progress towards "a strategic partnership with the Russian Federation over the last decades", it said. Ukraine is called to speed up implementation of promised reforms.
PACE has said that Russia must guarantee the human rights of all inhabitants of Crimea and of the "DPR" and "LPR", territories where it exercises de facto control.
In a resolution on legal remedies for human rights violations on Ukrainian territories outside Ukraine's control, based on a report by Marieluise Beck (Germany, ALDE), PACE urged Russia to restore, in particular, the historical rights of the Crimean Tatar people and "enable the re-establishment of the rule of law in the whole of eastern Ukraine".
Read also: Full text of the second PACE resolution
The Assembly also called on the Ukrainian authorities to make easier the daily life of the inhabitants of territories outside their control and displaced persons, by reducing administrative burdens and adequately equipping courts.
PACE also welcomed the activities of the Joint Investigation Team into the downing of flight MH17 in Donbas, and took note of its preliminary findings that the Malaysian Airlines flight was "shot down from territory controlled by Russian-backed militants by a BUK missile system which had been brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and which was returned to Russian Federation territory after launch".
The head of Ukrainian representation in PACE Volodymyr Ariev commented the situation on Facebook: "I am proud of teamwork of our delegation to PACE! Once we have achieved all most important mentions in two resolutions on Ukraine, namely the continuation of sanctions against Russia until the restoration of the full sovereignty of Ukraine, the condemning of illegal elections in the Crimea and banning of Mejlis, refuse to accept the call of the Russian Federation in the Assembly despite everything, to release prisoners and much more. Even the title was replaced from "the conflict in Ukraine" to "Russia's aggression in Ukraine."
Read also: PACE President wants Russia back to Assembly
Ukraine's Parliament First Deputy Chairwoman Iryna Gerashchenko named today's two reports and resolutions ‘historical' and stressed: "They recognized that if the OSCE cannot guarantee the security of the two speakers in the occupied territories, the OSCE cannot guarantee the security of the elections. Therefore, any elections in the occupied Donbas currently is out of the schedule. This is recorded in the PACE resolution, supported by 87 members of the Assembly. We have a powerful argument in our discussions with Western partners. It is difficult to overestimate."