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My objective is to see Russia advancing as a modern civilized country.


2 March 2014 

Joint statement by Guy Verhofstadt, President of ALDE Group in the European Parliament and Mikhail Kasyanov, Co-Leader of People's Freedom Party (PARNAS) on the escalation of the situation in Crimea

Putin has recklessly taken a step that put Russia on the brink of war with a friendly country Ukraine. Russia dropped the pretence of being a good neighbour and became a military agressor.

Putin's justifications for the Russian military intervention are flimsy - no one is going to attack the Russian population living in the Crimea and in the eastern regions of Ukraine.

Moreover a legitimate Ukrainian government assured all of its citizens of strict performance of their duties to protect the population, regardless of ethnic or linguistic identity.

The main reason for this senseless act is the reluctance of the Russian authorities to recognize the Ukrainian people for its sovereign right to decide their own fate. And now Putin is trying to stifle freedom-not only in Russia but also in the neighboring country.

We demand that Putin immediately abandon intentions of using the Armed Forces on the territory of Ukraine. We urge the Russian authorities at all levels to stop provocative actions leading to incitement of conflict in Ukraine. We remind the Russian authorities of its obligations under the Budapest Accord of 1994 to act as a guarantor of territorial integrity of Ukraine. We deplore ongoing arrests in Russia of peaceful demonstrators that came out in large numbers to protest the decision of military intervention.

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