MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. All Moscow’s moves during Crimea’s reunification with Russia were strictly in line with the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for European Cooperation, Ivan Soltanovsky, told Tass.
"Attempts by some Western countries to accuse Russia of violating the principles of the UN Charter and Helsinki principles of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe are absolutely baseless," Soltanovsky said in an interview timed to the day when the Helsinki Final Act was signed 40 years ago.
"It is incorrect to say that the return of Crimea within Russia was a violation of any of the stated principles first of all from the legal point of view. It is obvious that such statements are purely politically motivated," he added.
He reminded the interlocutor that the Final Act of 1975 fixed the principles of territorial integrity of states and inviolability of borders, "and with that, this document as well as the Declaration of Principles [of International Law] of 1970 fix the principle of equality and people’s right to decide their own destiny".
"Thus, self-determination is one of the generally recognized principles of international law,m" the diplomat continued. "In case of Crimea, its declaration of independence and accession to Russia became the only possible option after the country had seen a coup with the use of force and its population faced violence of radical nationalists and saw their legitimate interests ignored," he said.
As for the UN Charter, the diplomat said the right to create a sovereign and independent state, freely join an independent state or unite with it was envisaged in the ‘Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations’.
As a result, by exercising their right to self-determination through holding a referendum, the Crimean residents protected their vitally important interests. "Accordingly, all Russia’s activity within that context was in strict compliance with the Helsinki principles," he added.