Riigikogu MPs submit draft to declare Russia terrorist regime

Opening sitting of the Riigikogu's autumn session on September 12, 2022.
Opening sitting of the Riigikogu's autumn session on September 12, 2022. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

According to a Riigikogu press release, a draft statement was submitted for legislative proceeding on Tuesday by 85 Riigikogu Members, which condemns the annexation of Ukrainian territory and declares Russia a terrorist regime. The Foreign Affairs Committee will discuss sending the draft statement to the plenary assembly for a debate and a vote on Tuesday afternoon.

In the draft statement, the Riigikogu strongly condemns the Russian Federation's military actions against Ukraine and its illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories. It also underscores that Estonia will never recognize the violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity as a result of military aggression or sham referendums.

"Violation of law can never create law. Putin's regime, with its threats of nuclear attack, has turned Russia into the biggest danger to peace both in Europe and the whole world," the draft reads.

The draft goes on to declare, that the Riigikogu supports the investigations initiated by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court to identify the crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine, and considers it necessary to prosecute those guilty of crimes of aggression in a special international tribunal.

"Following the call made by the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) to countries and international organizations, the Riigikogu declares Russia a terrorist regime, and the Russian Federation as a country that supports terrorism, which we must confront together. The Riigikogu calls on the international community to adopt similar declarations," reads the draft.

In the draft statement, the Riigikogu condemns the use of armed groups established with the support of the authorities of the Russian Federation, including the Wagner Group, during the war in Ukraine. It also considers it necessary to define the armed forces of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, which were established by the Russian Federation, and the Wagner private military company, as terrorist organizations.

The draft additionally condemns Russia's declaration and implementation of mobilization as breaches of international law, stating that the mobilization being conducted in order to continue committing the crime of aggression against Ukraine, constitutes a crime against peace.

The Riigikogu supports the request to strip the Russian Federation of its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It also calls on the European Union Member States to stand united in implementing additional economic sanctions against the Russian Federation and Belarus, as well as against private individuals connected to the two regimes. It also highlights the need for continued monitoring of those sanctions already in place, to ensure they are being strictly adhered to.

In the draft statement, the Riigikogu calls on EU and NATO Member States to decisively increase levels of military aid, which Ukraine needs to continue withstanding the aggression of the Russian Federation and to restore Ukrainian sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders. The draft also refers to the need to increase humanitarian aid to Ukraine and support the country during its post-war reconstruction. "Estonia supports the people, state, and army of Ukraine with all the means it has available, and believes the victory of Ukraine is the only way to restore peace in Europe," reads the draft statement.

So far this year, the Riigikogu has already issued three statements to condemn Russia's actions and express support for Ukraine. On January 18, the Riigikogu adopted the Statement in Support of the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine, initiated by 28 members of the Riigikogu; on February 23, the Statement on the Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, was initiated by 86 members of the Riigikogu, and on April 21, the Statement on the War Crimes and Genocide Committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, was initiated by 84 members of the Riigikogu.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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