On 16 October 2014, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a Declaration on separatist tensions in Ukraine and neighboring countries, at its 27th session held in Strasbourg (France).
The Congress had already condemned the annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation in a declaration made at its previous session in March 2014. In the latest declaration the Congress condemned Russia’s military intervention in the East of Ukraine, and all forms of pressure by Russia on its neighbors.
The Declaration stressed that the security of the European continent is seriously threatened by the Russian Federation’s repeated failure to comply with international rules and the principles and values of the Council of Europe that it signed up to when it joined the Organization.
The principles of international law, such as territorial integrity, sovereignty and the inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of states are imperative for the peaceful settlement of conflicts in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Moldova faced with separatist movements. Armed separatism, supported by mercenaries and the intervention of foreign troops, is the antithesis of all that the Congress stands for and has created a humanitarian crisis that the national authorities and the international community must resolve together.
The Congress emphasized the importance of fulfilling the Minsk agreements. In particular the cease-fire must be effectively and comprehensively implemented and must be followed by a political dialogue to enable Ukraine to recover its territorial integrity.