The European Green Party (EGP) has expressed its solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and their fight for European orientation, democracy, peace and independence. Russia has invaded Crimea and is threatening an even broader invasion of Ukraine. The military control of Russian troops over the Crimean peninsula is a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. Russia is blatantly ignoring its own treaty obligations, international law and its obligations under UN charters. We are highly alarmed by this aggression and call for it to end immediately.
Commenting on the crisis, EGP Co-Chair Reinhard Bütikofer said:
“Russia's aggression needs a clear response from the EU and its member states. There is still the opportunity to withdraw Russian troops and to restore full Ukrainian sovereignty, and we must use all diplomatic means to achieve that end. But a Russia that does not respect international law cannot be a strategic partner for the EU. Russian actions must have definite political and economic consequences. Sanctions, asset freezing and visa restrictions will have to be considered. At the same time, we call on the Ukrainian government to act prudently and to help to deescalate the situation. Restoring Russian as an official language should be part of that."
EGP Co-Chair Monica Frassoni continued:
“The European Union must do all it can to support the people of Ukraine. It is clear that there is a desire to move away from Russian dominance, and we must help them wherever possible. On the other hand, the current Ukrainian government should become more inclusive regarding Ukraine's democratic forces. The EU and our international partners must provide urgent financial and economic assistance to help alleviate the country's near-bankruptcy. We too should heed the wake up call that over reliance on Russia for oil and gas supplies carries heavy risks for our energy security.”
President Putin's initiative and the possible use of military force against Ukraine, along with the relevant decision by Russia's Council of the Federation, is a defiant display of autocratic behaviour in the international arena, and an assault on the very foundations of relations between nations. By the will of President Putin, Russia has not only reduced the Budapest Memorandum 1994 (according to which Russia acts as one of the guarantors of security of Ukraine) to a piece of paper, but completely destroyed the entire system of international law aimed at preventing armed conflicts, and protecting the sovereignty and integrity of states.
No decision of the Council of the Federation made without international legal basis and without backing by an appropriate UN mandate can legitimise the invasion of the territory of another state. The aforementioned decision and the presence of the Russian military in Crimea (undertaking criminal acts), indicates a act of aggression against Ukraine that has already taken place.
Lacking any plausible explanation for its actions, Russia has resorted to a massive disinformation campaign that presents speculative assumptions about certain "threats" to the Russian citizens and Russian-speaking population of the Crimea as an objective reality. The means of the Russian leadership's behaviour is directly comparable with the logic used to justify the Anschluss and invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938. The use of such methods in the twenty-first century is criminally anachronistic, and a shows a blatant and defiant disregard of difficult historical experiences on which the modern international legal system is based.
Thus, the responsibility for the outbreak and escalation of the conflict falls entirely on Russia. The Russian leadership and Russian citizens must realise that as a result of such actions, it's not just Ukraine but the whole Black Sea region who are pushed towards a military and political catastrophe. Given the inevitable involvement by other countries in the conflict, there is a realistic possibility of the development of events at the beginning of the Third World War.