Statement of the Lithuanian MFA on illegitimate “elections” in Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast, parts of the Ukrainian territory
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns illegitimate “voting” conducted by the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” on 11 November that is contrary to norms of international law.
Such “elections” gravely violate the Minsk agreements as well as Ukrainian laws and do not create conditions for free expression of political will in the Ukrainian regions mentioned above. Further invasion of the Russian army into the Ukrainian territory, continuing violations of ceasefire, and the escalation of the situation in and militarisation of the Azov Sea are of particular concern. Such illegal actions grossly violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine and international agreements and will seriously affect future relations between the international community and Russia.
Lithuania firmly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We underline once again that the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian laws are the only legal basis for municipal elections on the Ukrainian territory.
We reiterate our condemnation of the continuing military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the on-going escalation of the situation and militarisation of the Azov Sea, and we call on Russia to comply with its commitments, undertaken in Minsk, to withdraw its armed forces from the Ukrainian territory, to terminate any support to illegal armed formations in Donbas, and to restore control on the Russian-Ukrainian border. We underscore the importance of sanctions on Russia which should continue until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented and the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored.
On 26 April, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, continued his visit in Kiev, Ukraine, and met with Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin. A day before, on 25 April, Linas Linkevičius had a meeting with President Petro Poroshenko, whose term as president is coming to an end.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the decree by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on a simplified procedure for granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainian citizens, who reside in temporarily occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Lithuania maintains that such a move is an illegal interference into Ukraine’s internal affairs and a violation of its territorial integrity.
On 3 April in Washington, the USA, on the margins of the NATO's 70th anniversary events, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met with Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivana Klympush-Cincadze and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani.
Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We condemn the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine that flagrantly violates international law, the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia. We will continue to support Ukraine and coherently implement the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea five years ago.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania allocated EUR 30 thousand in humanitarian aid to Ukraine which will be transferred to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This contribution is another step in implementing the Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine initiated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that amounts to USD 187 million in 2018, however, has been implemented by only 38 per cent so far.
On 12 December, marking the 27th anniversary of the establishment of Lithuanian-Ukrainian diplomatic relations Minister Linas Linkevičius opened in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the exhibition of paintings and posters by Ukrainian children dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the statehood of Lithuania. Two new publications featuring the history of Lithuania and Ukraine were presented during the opening of the exhibition.