1. Comment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the approval by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe resolution "Strengthening the decision-making process of the Parliamentary Assembly on powers and voting" (June 25, 2019).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine considers the Resolution «Strengthening the decision-making process concerning credentials and voting» approved by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as an unacceptable concession to the Russian Federation, who has been carrying out an armed aggression against Ukraine since 2014 in gross violation of the norms and principles of international law, including the Statute of the Council of Europe.
Significant weakening of the PACE sanction mechanism, as provided by the adopted resolution, took place without any constructive steps by the Russian Federation, as well as against the background of non-compliance by Russia with its commitments and with PACE resolutions adopted in the response to the Russian aggression.
What has happened today in the PACE was the evidence of the withdrawal from the declared standards, principles and values of the Council of Europe as a result of unprecedented pressure and financial blackmail by the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, this occurred due to the overt appeasement by some countries’ leaders, who on the one hand, emphasize the need to put an end to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and on the other hand - encourage the aggressor by making concessions.
By depriving itself of the possibility to apply the most effective sanctions, the Assembly has considerably weakened its role in a modern European politics, and thus the ability to effectively protect the rule of law, human rights and democracy in all member states of the Council of Europe, including in the Russian Federation.
We regret to note today, as the Council of Europe celebrates its 70th anniversary, that its Parliamentary Assembly has lost its credibility, and can no longer play the role, entrusted to this Organization by its founders.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has consistently opposed such a scenario, and this position remains unchanged.
Despite the fact that today we have witnessed the defeat of the European parliamentarism, the moral victory rests with the countries, which did not support the destructive decisions in the Council of Europe. These were the countries, which in their recent history either have been occupied by the USSR, or continue to suffer from the Russian occupation authorities, who carry on an aggression and kill their citizens. These very countries deserve to be considered as true defenders of the values of that Europe, to which Ukraine belongs.
2. Comment of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry on the announced results of investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 (June 19, 2019).
The results of investigation into the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, announced by the Joint Investigation Team on June 19, are of key importance because they provide definitive answer to the question of where the deadly weapon used to shoot the plane down came to the territory of Ukraine from and who organized the operation.
Main suspects have been named: they are active or former agents of the Russian special services and a citizen of Ukraine, who provided assistance to them.
The investigation is yet to determine the role of the so-called “Crimean Prime Minister” S. Aksionov, some other persons who are high-ranking officials in the premeditation of the crime, as well as to name its direct perpetrators – crewmembers of the infamous BUK.
Court trial of the main suspects will commence on March 9, 2020 at a national court in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. All the important legal aspects related to the transfer of criminal proceedings, court hearings and verdict execution is regulated by the relevant Agreement between Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands of July 7, 2017 on international legal cooperation with regard to the downing of flight MH17.
The said agreement has established a proper legal basis for a thorough and legitimate court consideration of the Joint Investigation Team investigation results, where Ukrainian law enforcement agencies cooperate with the law enforcement agencies of the states, whose citizens died as a result of the downing of MH17.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to highlight the fact that the prosecution of suspects in the case of premeditation and committing of crimes related to the shooting down of MH17 is inextricably linked with Russia's responsibility as a state for violating a number of conventions, thus making these crimes possible. Among those, in particular, is the violation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which is the subject of court trial of Ukraine against Russia in the International Court of Justice.
We call on the Russian Federation to acknowledge its responsibility for supplying the arms and to cooperate with the investigation, as stipulated by UNSC Resolution 2166 of July 17, 2014.
3. Statement of the MFA of Ukraine regarding the decision of the North Caucasian district military court, Russia, in the case of five illegally convicted Ukrainian citizens of Crimean Tatar descent (June 18, 2019).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest to the Russian Federation regarding the unlawful sentencing of Tymur Abdullaev, Useir Abdullaev, Rustem Ismailov, Emil Dzhemedenov and Aider Saledinov, all citizens of Ukraine, by the North Caucasian district military court. The decision was declared in the city of Rostov-on-Don on June 18 and was based on fabricated charges of the involvement of the aforementioned individuals in the activities of a terrorist organization.
Just like the previous cases, the so-called "court" rejected the arguments of the defense rightfully appealing to the absence of the evidence base as well as the criminal wrongdoing itself in the actions of the five mentioned Ukrainian citizens – defendants in the so-called "Simferopol Hizb ut-Tahrir case". Instead, the "judges" fully supported the prosecution in determining the "punishment" for Ukrainian citizens.
We consider this a clear indication of the strong bias and political vassalage of the Russian judicial system, as well as yet another example of the Russian occupation administration's use of anti-terror legislation as a cover up for political repressions against representatives of the Crimean Tatar people. According to the decision of the court, Tymur Abdullaev was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment in the colony of a strict regime, Rustem Ismailov - up to 14 years, Useir Abdullaev - up to 13 years, Aider Saledinov and Emil Zemadenov - to 12 years imprisonment.
We call on the international community to condemn these unlawful decisions and to strengthen pressure on the aggressor state through political-diplomatic means and sanctions in order to stop Russia from violating human rights in the temporarily occupied Crimea, to release all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine in the Russian Federation and ultimately restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders.
The Russian Federation must implement to their full the resolutions of the UN General Assembly “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” of 27 March 2014, “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)" of 19 December 2016, 19 December 2017 and 22 December 2018, and the order of the International Court of Justice regarding provisional measures in the case of Ukraine vs Russia regarding the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.