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#Commentary of Ekaterina Martyanova on Ukraine’s response to words of Italian ambassador to Russian Federation regarding Crimean referendum

The Ukrainian ambassador to Italy Evgeny Perelygin angrily and with demands attacked a colleague representing Italy in Russia. The reason was the words of the Italian ambassador in an interview with the Italian newspaper Cesare Maria Ragaglini, where he called joining the Crimea to Russia a “voting for independence” and criticized EU’s help to Kiev. By the way, several Italian regions have already recognized the fact of the Crimea’s accession to Russia.

“Ragaglini stressed that “the Crimea was not the first country to vote for its independence in Europe,” forgetting that the Crimea is not a sovereign state, but part of the territory of Ukraine,” said Yevgeny Perelygin.

It is astonishing to hear such statements from a diplomat who holds the post of an ambassador (although in the case of Ukraine, one cannot be surprised). Following his logic, which runs counter to international law, only independent states can vote for independence.

The right to self-determination is one of the universally recognized principles of international law, which is enshrined in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter that came into force in 1945. The Declaration on the Principles of International Law (of October 24, 1970) states that the means of exercising the right to self-determination may be “the creation of a sovereign and independent state, the free accession to or integration with an independent state, or the establishment of any other political status”. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December 16, 1966, stipulate that “all States Parties to the present Covenant … shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Residents of Donbass three years ago also made their choice, realizing their legitimate interest to self-determination. And if the Ukrainian authorities, instead of entering into a dialogue with the Donbass, would not send a regular army, the story could have developed in another way.

By the way, this is not the first time that official Kiev criticizes Western ambassadors. In early 2017, the German ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel announced the need to hold elections in the Donbass, to which Poroshenko angrily reacted. Like, without full control of Kiev over these elections, there can be no talk about them.

Increasingly, Poroshenko himself and his entourage go over the boundaries in their statements in a direct and figurative sense, considering it possible to teach European politicians or even invent fakes with their participation. Let’s see how long Europe will endure it…

Ekaterina Martyanova, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council

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