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Lavrov considers adoption of laws on Crimea, Sevastopol accession to Russia turning point

March 20, 2014, 17:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the unification of the Russian and Crimean peoples will facilitate their well-being and prosperity and meet the interests of Russia
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Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

© EPA/ZIPI

MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the adoption of laws on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia would be a turning point in the fate of the peoples of Russia and Crimea.

“The unification of the Russian and Crimean peoples will facilitate their well-being and prosperity and meet the interests of Russia,” Lavrov said at a session of the State Duma devoted to the ratification of the agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia.

 

Referendum in line with international law

Crimea’s referendum complies with the international law, says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“A historic decision on reunification of Russia and Crimea is being taken against the backdrop of tragic events in Ukraine,” he told a State Duma session on Thursday.

“A coup facilitated from the outside has taken place. Manifestations of radicals and anti-Semites, on whom Ukraine’s new authorities rely, have been reported. The most violent and large-scale violations of human rights have been registered,” Lavrov said.

A decision on Crimea’s accession to Russia was based on free expression of the will at the referendum that had taken place in compliance with the international law, in particular with the principle of sovereign equality of the state's and peoples’ right to self-determination, Lavrov said.

 

Territorial integrity

Those states that guarantee equal rights to all people can count on protection of their territorial integrity, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“The right to self-determination is fixed in the UN Charter,” he said. “This principle is traditionally interpreted in the global practice as a part of common provisions, including those on territorial integrity.”

“Under the consensus affirmed in the relevant declaration those states that guarantee equal rights to all people can count on protection of their territorial integrity,” he said, adding that the Crimeans’ rights had been repeatedly infringed on. “After the coup in Kiev actions have been taken to curtail the rights of residents of Crimea even more," the foreign minister explained.

 

Sanctions are illegitimate

US and EU sanctions in regard to Russia are illegitimate as the UN Security Council is the only official body to impose measures, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

“Unilateral sanctions never yielded good results and the UN Security Council is the only legitimate body to impose obligatory measures,” Lavrov said addressing the Russian parliament’s lower house. “The UN Security Council did not impose such measures [in regard to Russia]," th foreign minister noted.

 

Russian property in Ukraine

Lavrov considers possible actions on Russian property removal in Ukraine unlawful.

“These are unlawful actions. When the USSR collapsed, the property of states that proclaimed independence, remained in their hands,” Lavrov said.

“In my view, this principle can be used in any situation when independence is proclaimed in compliance with international law and the free expression of people’s will. A new state is created and it can join the other one,” the minister said.

“Lawyers should discuss the Ukrainian authorities’ claims in detail. I believe that no one seeks to start the dispute,” the minister said.

“Ukraine’s initiative can have a knock-on effect that Ukraine itself does not benefit,” Lavrov said.

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