Tánaiste says referendum outcome in Crimea is illegal16/3/14
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D, has expressed his regret at the decision to proceed with today’s illegal referendum in Crimea.
The Tánaiste reiterated his call on Russia to fully respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the inviolability of its borders and said:
“As I have already made clear, today’s referendum in Crimea is illegal. The results of the vote are without legal effect. Ireland and the majority of the international community do not recognise the legitimacy of the referendum. Nor do we accept the validity of the result.
“The heavy troop presence in Crimea means that the so-called referendum has not been conducted under what could be considered remotely acceptable conditions. Furthermore, any decision relating to Ukraine's sovereignty or sovereign choices can only be taken without undue external pressure.”
The Tánaiste discussed the deepening political crisis in Ukraine with the French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Paris this week. Speaking ahead of a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels tomorrow, which will be dominated by discussions of the crisis, the Tánaiste noted that Ministers are now likely to impose further sanctions against the Russian Federation. These will include targeted asset freezes and travel bans.
However, the Tánaiste said there was still time to defuse the crisis: “While I very much regret today’s vote in Crimea, which has exacerbated an already dangerous situation, I believe that there is still space to resolve the crisis.
16 March 2014