On Thursday, 11 August, the Saeima adopted a statement on Russia's targeted military attacks against civilians and public areas in Ukraine, recognising Russia's violence against civilians as terrorism and Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. The Saeima's statement calls on EU countries to immediately suspend the issuance of tourist and entry visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.
"Russia has for many years supported and financed terrorist regimes and organisations in various ways—directly and indirectly—as the largest arms supplier to the Assad regime in Syria and as a perpetrator, for instance, of the poisoning of the Skripal family or the downing of flight MH17. Russia has now adopted similarly ruthless, immoral, and illegal tactics in Ukraine, as it uses imprecise and internationally banned weapons and ammunition and targets civilians and public areas with disproportionate brutality. To achieve the goals of its illegal, aggressive war, Russia seeks to intimidate and demoralise the Ukrainian people and armed forces, to paralyse the functioning of the state in order to occupy Ukraine, that is, Russia is perpetrating this violence to attain political objectives," highlighted Rihards Kols, Chair of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee.
In the statement, the Saeima points out that since Russia's unprovoked military attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, twelve million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes and over five million have had to flee their country. During this time, a series of reports by human rights organisations and international observer missions have documented the atrocities committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians, including torture, rape, killings, and mass detentions of civilians in so-called filtration centres, as well as mass deportations, according to the statement.
Less than 24 hours after Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, to resume the export of blocked Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, the missile attack by Russian forces on the port of Odesa on 23 July not only demonstrated Russia’s contempt for its obligations and the international order and institutions but also deliberately further deepened the global food crisis that will lead to hunger and suffering around the world, state the MPs.
In the statement, the Saeima stresses that, in order to occupy Ukraine, Russia uses suffering and intimidation as tools in its attempts to demoralise the Ukrainian people and armed forces and paralyse the functioning of the state. The Saeima recognises Russia's violence against civilians committed in pursuit of political aims as terrorism and Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and calls on other like-minded countries to express the same view.
The MPs strongly condemn the military aggression and large-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation with the support and involvement of the Belarusian regime and call on the Euro-Atlantic community and its partners to urgently intensify and implement comprehensive sanctions against Russia, as well as call on the European Union member states to immediately suspend the issuance of tourist visas and restrict the issuance of entry visas to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus, among other measures.
The Saeima in its statement commemorates all victims of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
Saeima Press Service