Estonian president: Annexation of Ukrainian territories is a crime

"The annexation of Ukrainian territories is a crime. All crimes are met with punishment," President Alar Karis said on Friday after Russia moved to annex four occupied Ukrainian territories. He said condemnation alone is not enough.

The false pageantry with which Russia has announced the annexation of further Ukrainian territories forms part of the cynical 'political technology' framing rhetoric of the restoration of the Soviet Union. At the core of this deception, Russia's leaders are depriving their people of a future and forcing them to live in the darkness of the past. 

We will never assent to the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory and we will never recognize the lawfulness of such a step. Depressingly, and regrettably, this is Russia demonstrating to the entire world yet again the cruelty and callousness with which it breaks international law and the UN Charter.

The reactions of the international community to Russia's aggression have shown that the world sees what is wrong far more clearly than we thought or dared hope that it might. We must maintain this unity, build on it a new world in which there is no place for cruelty or imperialist ambition, and where there is respect for international law and human rights. 

A state is designed to serve its people. In Russia, the people are there to serve the ugly ambitions of those in the upper echelons of power. In a short space of time, tens of thousands of people have been killed or been sent in to kill others, resulting in sadness and suffering for hundreds of thousands of families; indeed, for all of humanity.

Today, condemnation alone is not enough. We must think about what we can do to restore our faith that there is respect for the principles on which our world is built, for the right of all peoples to sovereignty and self-determination, to territorial integrity and to the inviolability of borders; for the right of all to speak their own language in their own country whilst honoring the rights of minorities.

The annexation of Ukrainian territories is a crime. All crimes are met with punishment.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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