Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today accused Russia of violating the territorial integrity of his country by recognizing the independence of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
“Ukraine unequivocally qualifies Russia’s latest actions as a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its state. All responsibility for the consequences of such a decision rests with Russia’s leadership,” Zelensky said during a televised address.
At the same time, he stressed that “Russia’s statements and actions” will not succeed in changing the internationally recognized borders of his country.
Zelensky stressed that the decision of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, could mean Russia’s unilateral renunciation of the Minsk Peace Agreements and the decisions adopted with Germany and France in the Normandy format.
“That undermines the peace efforts and destroys the current negotiating formats,” he said.
In February 2015, the Minsk Agreements, signed with French and German mediation, put an end to the large-scale war in Donbas and established a ceasefire between the Ukrainian Army and pro-Russian militias that has been repeatedly violated.
In addition, he denounced that, with today’s decision, “Russia legalizes its troops, which were in the occupied territories of Donbas since 2014”, alluding to Moscow’s covert military support for the armed uprising in Donbas.
Zelenski highlighted having urgently convened a meeting of the UN Security Council, another of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and a summit of the Normandy Format.
He also expressed his confidence in receiving clear support from his main allies, who have already unanimously condemned Russian recognition and announced sanctions.
And he was convinced that the territory of Ukraine is “solidly defended”, although almost 150,000 Russian soldiers are deployed on its border between land, sea and air troops, to which must now be added the contingent sent by Putin supposedly to pacify the Donbas.