The positions and actions of the powers-that-be in Russia in respect of Ukraine and in connection with developments there are a reckless political adventure.
We believe that it is absolutely unacceptable to even raise the idea of using Russian troops in Ukraine. This is the position held by Yabloko.
We also believe that the separation of Crimea from Ukraine and its annexation is an error at the national level.
The fundamental goal of such a policy implemented by the leadership of our country is clear. This is the positioning of Ukraine as a “failed state”, which is popular among the entourage close to the powers that be. They tend to believe that it is in Russia’s interests to push Ukraine into political degradation and territorial collapse, or to transform it into a puppet state.
We are convinced that it is in Russia’s interests to make an immediate break with such ideology and to bring such policies to an end.
The immediate result of Crimea’s annexation would be to transform Russia into a country with zero reputation and borders that are not recognized internationally.
Russia would be confronted with the as yet uncertain, but potentially extremely dangerous position of the almost 300,000 strong Crimean-Tatar community and other groups, and would also have to deal with extremely serious economic and humanitarian problems.
It is vital that no blood has been spilled so far in Crimea: However, one thing is evident: Crimea today is humiliating en masse people who are upholding the Ukrainian Constitution (for example, the beatings handed out during the meetings on 9 March) and Ukrainian soldiers (compelling them to break their oath of allegiance or to surrender their weapons). This looks like nothing more than revenge against the Ukrainian people for trying to show dignity and self-esteem. One should also add the humiliation of Ukraine through propaganda on Russian television. We are witnessing the poisoning of the national consciousness of Russians, whose consequences will be felt by all the citizens of our country for a long time to come.
The main result of the current policy in respect of Ukraine is to consolidate Russia’s course as a non-European country, a “quasi-Eurasian” state, which disregards human rights and international law, rejects the whole system of painstakingly formed relations of the 21st century, and acts as fanatical antagonist of the West.
Continuing along this course in domestic policies would result in Russia’s transformation into a closed and even more isolated corporate state, which has in principle no ties with society. Personnel policy would be even more marginalized, with support for notorious incompetent individuals.
This would lead to a ruinous halting of development, the destruction of the nation’s creative potential, and everything that could provide Russia with a dignified present and future.
This course would destabilize the entire post-Soviet space and neighboring regions. The continuation of this course would threaten Russia with new crises both on its borders and also within the country.
It is true that blame for undermining international law and degrading the institutions of security cannot be laid only at Russia’s door. The hypocrisy, and shortchanging of the underlying values of European culture for transitory “pragmatic” interests, the focus on brute force, and compartmentalization of international law came to the fore in the war in Yugoslavia, the events in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East. However, today it is Russia that assumes responsibility for crossing the border dividing an extremely dangerous tendency from chaos.
We can only fundamentally improve the position of our country and open up development opportunities by decisively renouncing our anti-European stance and returning to the European course that does not reject Russia’s uniqueness, and participate deliberately and seriously in the implementation of the major European project over an area running from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
However, this is the future, and strategy, but we need to act without delay. Under no circumstances can the current situation be drawn out or kept “in limbo”. Even if the significant risk of a conflict turning “hot” does not occur, any form of Cold War would contribute to chaos, and the degradation of state institutions throughout the former USSR, where Russia’s multi-ethnic people would become the key victim.
Political assessments and appeals, even the fairest ones, are not enough. We need to create instruments to overcome the crisis.
Path to peace
We believe the immediate convening of an International Conference on political, legal and military issues related to Ukraine, in particular, in respect of the range of Crimean issues, is necessary, and today the only possible positive decision that could be adopted in the current situation.
The first goal of such a conference would be to restore the underlying legal framework in international life and in the area of security.
The second goal would be to guarantee the integrity and maintain the viability of the Ukrainian state and keep the political process in Ukraine within the parliamentary framework.
The third goal would be to restore the rule of law in Crimea, with due observation of the interests of Crimea’s population as a whole and all its component groups, without repressions of political opponents.
The countries that signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1994 should instigate the Conference. The participants should include those countries whose interests are affected by the developments: Ukraine, Russia, the European Union (with the special representation of Germany, Great Britain, France and Poland, the USA, Turkey, Canada, and where possible, the representatives of parliament and Crimea’s communities.
The Conference could be chaired, for example, by Kazakhstan and Spain.
The Conference should try to adopt decisions on Ukraine that take account of the interests and concerns of all the parties.
The political committee of the Yabloko party proposes a package of possible understandings. Let me stress: these are proposals aimed at resolving an acute crisis and maintaining the peace. This is merely the path for stepping back from the danger point, intended for today’s players.
— confirms its own non-aligned and non-nuclear status and guarantees that there will be no bases or facilities of foreign armed forces on its territory;
— declares that all the bilateral treaties in effect at present will remain in force, including the agreement on the Black Sea Fleet;
— undertakes to consider and issue a decision on substantially expanding Crimea’s autonomy, including the consolidation of the status of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol;
— establishes all the necessary conditions for the immediate international investigation of the tragic events in 2013-2014 in Kyiv, and separately the murders of people by snipers;
— declares its intention to consider at a constitutional level the prospects for transforming the state into a federation, and providing regions with real autonomy;
— takes a decision to review the principles for forming the government, bearing in mind the need for an inter-regional and coalition-based setup, real anti-corruption and anti-oligarchic components, decisive restrictions on the representatives of extreme political forces, and an increase in political competence;
— declares its readiness to recognize the Russian language as a regional language (and in future possibly as a second state language);
— declares its readiness to create a joint Russian-Ukrainian commission to protect the Russian Orthodox heritage in Ukraine;
— takes all the necessary measures, inter alia with the participation of international observers, to weed out and prevent the spread of Nazi, fascist, anti-Russian and anti-Semitic ideology in Ukraine and to prevent the activities of organizations preaching and implementing such ideologies in practice;
— assumes the obligation that all the illegal armed formations in Ukraine will be disarmed under international monitoring;
— provides effective guarantees for holding free and fair elections, with equal opportunities for all parties and participants.
— rejects the inclusion of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation, the referendum in Crimea has no legal consequences;
— brings the numbers of Russian forces, the stationing and troop movements into line with the understandings on the Black See Fleet;
— completely removes the threat of the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.
UKRAINE AND RUSSIA:
— create a mechanism for permanent interaction, possibly in the form of a Russian-Ukrainian commission at a high state level.
— recognize Ukraine’s unconditional right to determine its own economic and political ties;
— create a mechanism for the monitoring and control of the situation in Crimea and the Ukraine under the aegis of existing institutions ensuring security in Europe (OSCE) or an institute specially created for this purpose, including control over radical groups from both parties in order to prevent provocations, acts of violence, any incidents that could endanger the lives, health and tranquility of the people and the implementation of any understandings that have been reached.
These understandings are formalized in international agreements and law of Ukraine.
We, as a party and public movement, leveraging our expert potential and international cooperation, will do everything within our power to help the Conference come about and be successful.
Our goal is the restoration and maintenance of friendly relations between Russia and Ukraine, the guarantee of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our countries.
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