Ukraine: Green Party calls for restraint to avoid armed conflict

3 March 2014

GREEN Party Spring Conference, as its final action before closing today, passed an emergency motion moved by Leader Natalie Bennett responding to the events in the Ukraine.

Bennett said:

“The critical call at this point must be for restraint. Russia, Ukraine and all bodies and individuals involved in the situation must take all possible steps to avoid the risk of accidental escalation into violent conflict.

“The Russian Federation must be put under pressure to abide by international law and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence. If it fails to respect international law it must expect diplomatic and economic consequences, and the international community needs to unite in agreeing and implementing those consequences.

“Given recent events, all possible technical support should be given by the international community to the Ukrainian parliament to ensure that it is able to respond to the situation through democratic mechanisms.”

Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP, said:

"Russia's apparent concern for the protection of the population of the Crimea is not best served by threatening the peoples of a whole country. If President Putin is genuinely concerned about human rights rather than extending Russia's borders, he and the interim government of Ukraine should engage in dialogue, with other interested parties if necessary, to ensure a stable, inclusive Ukraine."

The full text of the motion reads:

Noting with grave concern the recent bloodshed in Ukraine, and the incursions by Russian forces into Ukrainian territory, calls on the Green Party executive and, where possible, our elected epresentatives, to

* Call on every state involved in the region and beyond to show restraint and not take any steps that would heighten tensions and increase the risk of military conflict

* Call on the Russian Federation to abide by international law and to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and independence

* Call on Russia and Ukraine to work to ensure that legitimate concerns are addressed through dialogue.

* Call on Russia to respect the rights of anti-war protestors within its borders to conduct peaceful protests without harassment.

* Indicate support for the constitutional majority formed in the Verkhovna Rada, which could provide the basis for the beginning of a national dialogue involving all the democratic components of Ukrainian society, with a view to achieving genuine reconciliation between the parties.

* Call on the Ukrainian Parliament and any incoming government to protect the rights of minorities in the country and the use of minority language.

* Call on the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the OSCE/ODIHR to provide immediate support to the Ukrainian Parliament during the current crisis to support dialogue with the Russian Federation and to ensure that new elections can be held according to the highest standards to produce a fully legitimate result.


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