On Thursday, 22 September, the Saeima adopted a Statement on the referendums organised by the Russian Federation in the occupied territories of Ukraine. In the Statement, the Saeima calls on the international community for non-recognition of the results of the so‑called referendums or any other “expressions of the will of the people” organised by the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, as well as the Russian Federation passports issued in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
“Neither Latvia, nor any other democratic state will ever recognise these fraudulent referendums, or any results thereof, as legitimate. This is how Russia aims to secure its territorial gains in Ukraine and legitimise them, but it is impossible to achieve it with such means,” noted Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, underlining that the referendums organised by Russia are manifestly contrary to the United Nations (UN) Charter and the Constitution of Ukraine and that they would have no legal effect.
The Saeima strongly condemns the plans of the Russian Federation to organise and fully acknowledge the illegal referendums on adding the occupied territories of Ukraine to the territory of the Russian Federation, to be held from 23 to 27 September 2022. Members of the Saeima underline that any referendums held in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are contrary to the laws of Ukraine and international laws.
In the Statement, the Saeima refers to the 11 August 2022 call of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co‑operation in Europe and the parliamentary assemblies of these organisations, as well as the governments and parliaments of the countries across the world not to recognise the so‑called referendums organised by the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and any results thereof.
Members of the Saeima reiterate that the unjustified invasion of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine is a gross violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which is manifestly contrary to the obligations of the Russian Federation under Article 2 of the Charter of the UN and imperative international legal provisions, as well as the obligations that Russia assumed by signing the Budapest Memorandum and committing to guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The Russian Federation, while engaging in a large scale military aggression against Ukraine, continues its attempts to annex the occupied territories of Ukraine by organising fraudulent referendums there and issuing Russian Federation passports to the citizens of Ukraine, and kidnaps the citizens of Ukraine and deports them to the territory of the Russian Federation on a massive scale, notes the Statement.
Members of the Saeima reaffirm their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and their unwavering commitment to the policy of non‑recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and to supporting further integration of Ukraine within the Euro Atlantic area.
In the Statement, the Saeima calls on the Euro-Atlantic community and its partners to urgently strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation in order to weaken the Russian military’s capacity to continue military aggression in Ukraine and to increase military, financial, humanitarian, and diplomatic support for Ukraine. In addition, the Statement calls on the Euro-Atlantic community to unanimously support initiatives that condemn Russia’s military activity in Ukraine and call for those responsible to be held accountable; continue isolating Russia from international and regional organisations; and make comparable decisions and establish comparable sanctions targeting Belarus as a supporter of the military aggression of Russia.
Saeima Press Service