Statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol
On the 11 March, by decree of the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol was adopted, according to which, if a decision to become part of Russia is made at the referendum of the 16 March, Crimea will be announced an independent and sovereign state with a republican order. According to this document, Crimea will be a democratic, laic and multinational state, with an obligation to maintain peace, international and intersectarian consent in its territory. If the referendum brings the respective results, Crimea as an independent and sovereign state will turn to the Russian Federation with the proposition to accept the Republic of Crimea on the basis of a respective interstate treaty into the Russian Federation as a new constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
The Declaration contains international and legal justification of this step, with references to the UN Charter and other international documents, as well as the decision of the UN’s International Court of Justice of 22 July 2010 on Kosovo. With this decision, adopted at the request of the UN General Assembly at the initiative of Serbia, the International Court of Justice confirmed the fact that unilateral announcement of independence by a part of a state does not violate any provision of international law. The same conclusion was clearly reached during the preceding hearings in the International Court of Justice, in particular, documents and speeches of official representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Denmark and other western countries. Materials regarding the position of the International Court of Justice and the above mentioned western representatives are posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the decision of the Crimean Parliament is absolutely within its rights. The Russian Federation will fully respect the results of the free will of the Crimean people at the referendum, to which (as is a known fact) the OSCE’s and bilateral observers were invited.
11 March 2014