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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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Lithuanian MFA supports the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Crimea Declaration of 25 July

Created: 2018.07.26 / Updated: 2018.07.26 19:06

Lithuania does not recognize and continues to strongly condemn the annexation of Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. Our position is based on our unwavering commitment to international law and our conviction that Russia has blatantly violated one of its main principles, - to refrain from the threat or use of force against sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of any State. No country can change the borders of another by force.

Looking back at the 50-years of  illegal occupation and annexation of the three Baltic States by the Soviet Union, we continue to deeply appreciate a principled stance by the US when 78 years ago the Sumner Welles Declaration was adopted condemning the occupation and refusing to recognize it. Throughout these 50 years, the Sumner Welles declaration has served as a backbone for the non-recognition policy of the occupation and – together with our continued diplomatic presence in the US, as well as in a number of other countries of the world, – contributed to ensuring the continuity of our statehood and eventually to the restoration of our independence.

We therefore very much welcome  Crimea Declaration by the Secretary of State Mr. Mike Pompeo as released on 25 July, 2018,   which once again reiterated that the Government of the United States of America continues to firmly stand with Ukraine and its people, and against the violation of territorial integrity of sovereign state of Ukraine by Russia. We also recall the established EU policy in this regard.

In concert with our allies and partners in the EU and NATO, and in coordination with the rest of the democratic community, Lithuania holds that Crimea is and will always remain a territory of Ukraine. We remain fully committed to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders including through the international instruments such as sanctions imposed on Russia, which should remain in force until the Ukrainian territorial integrity is fully restored.

Meanwhile we will  continue supporting the Crimean Tatars, as well as other Ukrainian citizens residing in the annexed peninsula of Crimea, and will seek all those responsible for the violation of their fundamental rights to be held accountable.

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