Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian presidents condemn Russian actions
The presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have issued a joint declaration condemning Russia's recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
Poland's Andrzej Duda, Lithuania's Gitanas Nauseda and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky referred in the document to Russia's recognition of the self-declared 'people's republics' of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR, respectively - PAP) as independent states as "an unprovoked aggressive step" by Russia and "a further glaring breach of fundamental norms and principles of international law, including the United Nations Charter as well as guarantees given to Ukraine within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994."
The declaration, signed in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Wednesday continued: "Russia has deliberately and unilaterally withdrawn from the Minsk agreements (and) hence carries full responsibility for further deterioration of the security situation on the ground. We underscore our strong engagement for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its borders recognised on the international forum, extending over its territorial waters. Recognition by Russia of the so-called DPR and LPR will have no legal results."
The three heads of state also called on the international community to take decisive and far-reaching actions in response to a further act of aggression against Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. In the views of Duda, Nauseda and Zelensky, the reaction should be a raft of strong sanctions, including against the Nord Stream 2 Russia-Germany gas pipeline.
"We call on Russia to de-escalate, withdraw its armed forces deployed along the borders and on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and to desist from undertaking any further armed actions," the document read. "The presidents of Poland and Lithuania stand beside Ukraine and fully support its efforts directed towards peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict."
The three presidents also declared that Ukraine deserves full support in its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, which have been reflected in the free choice of the Ukrainian nation.
The Polish and Lithuanian heads of state confirmed their support for Ukraine's European ambitions in line with a joint declaration signed on May 3 and March 18, 2021. They added that taking into account significant progress in implementing the association agreement and internal reforms, including challenges in the security sphere, Ukraine deserves to be an EU candidate country.