TORONTO, ONTARIO and KYIV, UKRAINE--(Marketwired - March 5, 2014) - As of this date, a major part of Ukraine's territory is under occupation by Russia following the unprovoked illegal invasion of the entire Crimean peninsula by 16,000 Russian troops on land, air and sea. This act of aggression may signal the first stage of a full-scale Kremlin-backed invasion of the south eastern regions of Ukraine.
According to Yuri Shymko, the President of the International Council in Support of Ukraine (ICSU), this can be easily triggered by a Russian provocation, as was the case when Putin ordered his security service, the FSB, to blow up a Moscow apartment, killing over a hundred innocent Russian civilians, and blaming it on Chechens to justify his brutal occupation of Chechnya and the genocide of Grozny.
Like other international observers, the ISCU believes that we are witnessing in Ukraine a repeat of the 2008 Russian Invasion of Georgia, after Russia first occupied its territory in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The International Council in Support of Ukraine appeals to the international community to stop Vladimir Putin from acting with total impunity by conceding his occupation of Crimea as a done deal. The UN, NATO, The EU and the USA must stop Russia from asserting any right to dismember the rest of the country by further deploying its military forces in southeastern Ukraine.
According to ICSU's President, a Red Line must be drawn to stop the further escalation of the conflict in light of President Putin's defiance of international law. Putin's actions have violated the 1994 Budapest Accords, which guaranteed Ukraine's territorial integrity in return for giving up its nuclear arsenal, treating it as a useless piece of paper. The ICSU believes that this sends a dangerous signal to Iran and North Korea -- that the best way to guarantee one's sovereignty is to develop and never give up nuclear weapons.
The ICSU contends that Ukraine is at the center of a major international geopolitical crisis. "Its resolution will either result in a world marked by peace or in a cataclysm similar to the one unleashed by Hitler's invasion of Europe, when the world stood back and allowed a delusional despot to bully neighboring nations," says Shymko.
The ICSU calls on the international community to:
- Demand the immediate removal of Russian troops from Crimea and the compliance by Russia of the Budapest Accords respecting the territorial sovereignty and independence of Ukraine;
- Demand that Russia cease its overt and covert political interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine as well as economic aggression with the aim of destabilizing the legitimate interim government or occupying parts of the country;
- Condemn Russia's cyber attacks on Ukraine's communications systems, launched by invading Russian forces in Crimea;
- Reject the illegally proposed referendum in Crimea, as a violation of Ukraine's constitution;
- Eject Russia from the Group of 8, the WTO and the OSCE, unless Russia immediately complies with the norms of international laws;
- Immediately impose targeted sanctions and suspend trade dealings with Russia, including the freezing of major Russian assets;
- Cancel the FIFA championships scheduled to be held in Russia in 2018;
- Initiate through the NATO-Ukraine Commission the process for Ukraine's membership in NATO;
- Reinstall the Missile Defence System in Poland and the Czech Republic;
- Reinforce the Armed Forces of Ukraine with military weapons;
- Have the US review its current policy on cooperating with Russia on Syria and support those fighting to depose Assad's brutal regime, since the elimination of chemical weapons has reached an impasse;
- Provide Ukraine's Interim government with emergency short term and long term financial assistance through the IMF, the World Bank, the EU and US.
The ICSU contends that, unless Russia de-escalates the conflict in Ukraine, the international community should act with unwavering resolve. It should make a determined effort to isolate Putin's belligerent nationalist regime both diplomatically and economically by taking appropriate measures in a coordinated manner between the countries of the EU and North America.