Wednesday 13 November 2019

Crimea takeover an 'illegal' invasion

Troops under Russian command assemble before getting into trucks near the Ukrainian military base they are blockading
Troops under Russian command assemble before getting into trucks near the Ukrainian military base they are blockading

Daniel McConnell

Russia has invaded the Ukraine territory of Crimea "under illegal and groundless excuses", Ukraine's ambassador to Ireland has declared.

In a hard-hitting address to the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, Sergii Reva said the invasion was a "brutal breach" of international law.

He described the current difficulties as his country's "moment of truth".

Mr Reva, himself a native of Crimea, told committee members they "should not be susceptible to Russian propaganda"; they should not believe Russian claims it was a "peacemaker" trying to protect ethnic Russians from "fascists and nationalists".

WARNED

He said 16,000 Russian troops had been deployed in Crimea and warned the build-up of troops "clearly indicates" Russia's preparation for possible military intervention into other Ukraine territories, beyond Crimea.

He also lashed out at former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych's "disgusting act" of using the Russian army against his own people.

Mr Reva said many EU states, including Ireland, had recognised the legitimacy of the new interim administration, and called on Russia to stop aggression, withdraw its armed forces back to their permanent station, and start negotiations with the UN and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Irish Independent

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