Today on March 14th, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt made a statement in the Swedish parliament on the current state of affairs in Ukraine.
International law is an essential foundation for every attempt to build lasting peace.
Bildt said, This concerns the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. And in Europe, it also concerns the principles laid down in the Final Act of the 1975 Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The most important principles here are well known.
All States have a right to territorial integrity, freedom and political independence. The frontiers of all States are inviolable, added Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt
The principle is that frontiers can change, but only in accordance with international law and by agreement.
All States must refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. Unless there is express support from the Charter of the United Nations, no consideration may be invoked to serve to warrant resort to the threat or use of force in contravention of this principle.
The developments since at least 27 February, when the Parliament in Simferopol, Crimea, was stormed by special forces, and very clearly since 1 March, when the Russian Federation Council gave a broad mandate for the use of Russian military forces in Ukrainian territory, mean that Russia has violated these fundamental principles in a blatant and serious manner.
The European Union has declared that Russia’s actions are to be regarded as an act of aggression.
This coup regime – which is what it unequivocally is here – has declared Crimea’s independence and announced a so-called referendum on the issue, to be held on Sunday.
The EU and the G7 states have clearly demanded that the Russian units be withdrawn to their bases, that direct talks be initiated between the governments in Kiev and Moscow and that international observers be given access in order to, among other things, monitor a Russian withdrawal.
Thus far, these demands have been rejected by Russia. Mr Bildt underscored, If this continues, EU Heads of state and government have made it clear that measures against Russia will be adopted, in addition to those already taken.
The EU’s foreign ministers will meet again on Monday, and the Heads of state and government on Thursday. Russia’s actions and their consequences will most likely dominate both these meetings, Bildt said, Needless to say, the diplomatic efforts in this matter must continue. Every opportunity must be utilised.
Looking ahead, Bildt said, We are prepared, in the near future, to first sign the political parts of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, alongside a simultaneous decision to immediately grant Ukraine free access in practice to the EU’s integrated market.
The benefits of this to Ukraine’s economy will gradually become very significant. And we will obviously support all the further steps on the road to European integration that a democratic Ukraine wants to and can take.
Our expectation is that the presidential election scheduled for 25 May will be free and fair. Extensive election monitoring will be important. But already – as soon as possible – we want to see a clearly enhanced EU presence in all parts of the country.
This is our immediate policy. It is a strong and united European policy.
There is very broad support for Mr Bildts statement on Russian actions in Ukraine, the diplomatic efforts in this matter and the need for a strong alliances. Bildt underscored that “Every opportunity must be utilised”.
Read more here Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt statement in the Swedish parliament on the current state of affairs in Ukraine On March 14th 2014.