Lipavsky Condemns Russian Annexation of Ukrainian Territory As “Shameful Violation of Law”

Czech Foreign Minister condemns Russia. Photo Credit: Marie Schmerkova, Brno

Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) – The Czech Republic will not tolerate the “shameful violation of international law” by Russia, its theft of another state’s territory, or President Vladimir Putin’s imperial ambitions, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) told CTK yesterday  responding to the Russian annexation of four Ukrainian territories on Friday.

Some European countries will summon Russian ambassadors this week to consultations in reaction to the Russian annexation. It is not clear whether Prague will do so as well. Lipavsky told CTK only that the Czech government was “coordinating steps with our allies.”

“We will not recognize a single unlawful annexation of Ukrainian territory by Russia regardless of how many Russian soldiers are in the territory of Ukraine,” Lipavsky added.

On Friday, Putin, alongside representatives of pro-Russian separatist groups, signed a series of treaties formally annexing four Ukrainian regions to the Russian Federation: the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. The Russian Constitutional Court approved this step yesterday. The parliament must still vote on it and will start debating it today, according to Reuters.

Nine presidents of Central and East European states, including Czech President Milos Zeman and Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, have released a joint statement rejecting the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territories and calling on other NATO members to considerably increase military aid to Ukraine.

Press agencies have reported that the foreign affairs ministries of Italy, Germany and Belgium have summoned Russian ambassadors.

French President Emmanuel Macron said today that he would like to work with EU partners on further sanctions against Russia in reaction to the annexation. At the beginning of this week, EU officials said if talks developed in the right direction, the new sanctions could get the green light at the informal EU summit to be held in Prague on Thursday and Friday.

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