Congress declaration against the annexation of Crimea by Russia
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a declaration against the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Long discussions and many requested amendments but the decision is there.
The Bureau of the Congress, meeting in Strasbourg on 24 March 2014, decided to hold yesterday an urgent debate on Ukraine in the framework of its 26th session (25-27 March 2014). A statement on the situation in Ukraine presented by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) and adopted by the Bureau on 24 March will be submitted for adoption by the Congress.
This statement condemns 'Russia’s annexation of Crimea in violation of international law.' It stresses in particular that 'the pseudo-consultation [organised 16 March] should on no account pave the way for a change of borders between Russia and Ukraine. It also recalls that 'prior to this referendum Crimea enjoyed a broad degree of autonomy and that this could, if necessary, have been strengthened in consultation with the Ukrainian national authorities”.
The Bureau also decided that the next meetings of the monitoring and current affairs committees initially planned to take place in Russia – Ulyanovsk and Kazan respectively - will be held in another member state. It considered that, in the current situation, the only Congress meetings that may be held in Russia should focus on political dialogue leading to the resolution of the crisis in the Crimea and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.