Foreign Affairs Committee: the increasing presence of Russian armed forces near Ukraine’s borders is unacceptable


The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima considers unacceptable the increasing presence of the armed forces of the Russian Federation near Ukraine's borders and in the occupied Crimean Peninsula since the beginning of 2021, as well as the increased militarisation of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov regions, according to the Statement of the Committee on the security situation in Europe, adopted on Tuesday, 11 January.

Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, highlights that the Committee strongly condemns the threatening and destabilising actions of the Russian Federation. The Statement calls on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the tensions with Ukraine and immediately withdraw its troops from the border with Ukraine to their permanent bases.

“The military actions and political statements of the Russian Federation pose a critical threat to the overall peace, stability, and security of Europe,” stressed Kols. “In the 20th century, similar actions of military aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states paved the way for unlawful use of force.”

The Statement calls on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the situation and respect its international obligations and its responsibility to ensure transparency of military activities in accordance with the principles of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Vienna Document.

The Committee also recalls the obligations of the Russian Federation under international agreements and expects the Russian Federation and the separatists it supports in the Donbas and Luhansk regions to respect the ceasefire agreement, to constructively engage in the Normandy format talks, and to immediately release all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens.

The Statement underlines the sovereign right of countries to choose their own paths of development, cooperation partners, as well as the importance of allies making a united and decisive response based on shared principles in deterring the Russian Federation.

Members of the Committee insist that the choice of any country to join NATO cannot be conditional on the consent of a third country, and point out that the values and fundamental principles of collective defence shared by the NATO alliance are firm and non-negotiable.

The Committee calls on the governments of NATO and EU Member States and their allied partner governments to continue coordinating the development of intensified restrictive measures to deter the Russian Federation from further escalating the situation.

Members of the Committee support NATO's open-door policy and the agreement reached at the 2008 NATO Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government in Bucharest that Ukraine and Georgia would become members of NATO.

Members of the Committee also affirm the unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, as well as firm commitment to the continued support of Ukraine in accordance with its chosen course of development towards Euro-Atlantic integration.


Saeima Press Service

Sestdien, 21.maijā