G7 urges Russia to withdraw its support 'immediately' from Crimean referendum

On Wednesday, G7 leaders released a statement through the White House regarding Russia's support for the Crimean Parliament's planned March 16 referendum. The leaders urged Russia to withdraw its support for the referendum "immediately."
By JC Finley  |  March 12, 2014 at 11:05 AM
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The White House released a statement Wednesday from the G7 leaders on the situation in Ukraine.

Speaking for the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission, the statement addressed Russia's expressed support for the Crimean Parliament's planned referendum to determine its status as remaining part of Ukraine or joining Russia.

"We call on the Russian Federation to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine.

"Any such referendum would have no legal effect. Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force. For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome."

Should Russia move forward with annexing Crimea from Ukraine, the G7 declared that "would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter; Russia’s commitments under the Helsinki Final Act; its obligations to Ukraine under its 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership; the Russia-Ukraine 1997 basing agreement; and its commitments in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994."

The G7 asserted it "will take further action, individually and collectively," if Russia acts in violation of such international treaties.

Russia, the G7 leaders urged, should instead "join us in working together through diplomatic processes." Essentially, they want Russia to de-escalate the crisis through the immediate withdrawal of its excess forces from Crimea, engage directly with the Ukrainian government, and accept the involvement of international mediators and observers to address issues of concern.

The G7 previously announced it was suspending participation in a scheduled G-8 meeting to be held in Sochi, Russia, due to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

[White House]

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