Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Presidents of Austria and Ukraine: Legitimate elections of the Russian President cannot be held on the territory of the occupied Crimea

“From the point of view of Austria, it is clear that the annexation of Crimea is unlawful. And this is also the position of the European Union. Therefore, legitimate elections to the Russian Parliament and the elections of Russian President cannot take place in Crimea. And this is not only my point of view. This is a unanimous point of view of the entire Austrian Government,” Federal President of the Republic of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen noted answering the question of the journalists about the recognition of the Russian elections in Crimea.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked both the Austrian President and Austrian Government for the official position expressed on the website of the Austrian Foreign Ministry that they "do not send observers to Crimea, do not welcome and do not recognize".
The Head of State expressed confidence that "joint and concerted actions should ultimately lead to the liberation of the entire Ukrainian territory - Donbas and Crimea".
The President also emphasized the importance of bringing to justice those who directly participate in the organization of the so-called "elections", including the imposition of personal sanctions against them.
Petro Poroshenko called on all European partners and the whole world to react decisively to "the election farce Moscow is organizing this Sunday in the occupied territory of the Ukrainian Crimea - on the fourth anniversary of the attempt to annex the Crimean peninsula".
During the talks between the Presidents of Ukraine and Austria, special attention was paid to the European agenda, taking into account the future Austrian presidency in the European Union starting from July this year, especially to the issue of strengthening unity and solidarity of the EU with Ukraine in countering Russian aggression. The parties also discussed ways of restoring peace in Ukraine and sanctions policy towards the country-aggressor.
The President of Ukraine noted that Ukraine and Austria had one similar bitter page in their history. "Eight decades ago, Austria, like Ukraine four years ago, suffered an assault by a neighbor. I mean the Nazi Anschluss. The geopolitical obsession of a group of people broke hopes of entire nations," Petro Poroshenko stressed.
The President of Ukraine emphasized the joint position of the two Presidents with regard to the importance of the historical lessons of those events, responsibility, the need to protect and root our democratic values.
At the same time, he said: "The resoluteness of our response will determine how quickly we can return Russia to respect for the rule of international law".
The Head of State stressed that "the latest developments in the east of our country when another truce is not complied with, the latest developments in Austria, the support of terrorist groups in Ukraine are definitely additional arguments regarding joint and consolidated actions and decisions on the return of Russia in the format of international law".