Canada Cautions Russia on Proposed Crimea Legislation

March 11, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada, alongside our G-7 partners, is gravely concerned by news that Russia may be proceeding with draft legislation aimed at the absorption of Ukraine’s Crimea region into the Russian Federation. Russia appears to be preparing the ground for outright, illegal annexation of Crimea.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and of international law. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated last week, Canada and our partners will not recognize the legitimacy of a referendum—planned for March 16—held in a region under illegal military occupation, nor will we consider as valid any corresponding legislative motion in Moscow designed to legitimize it.

“If Russia’s legislators move forward with the annexation bill currently being considered by the Duma, they will only contribute to their country’s growing isolation.

“We remain extremely concerned about the ongoing crisis and continue to call on Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including its 1994 Budapest Memorandum obligations.”

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