„Ukraine supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia. The narratives of the dictator from the Kremlin, who is trying to exploit the ‘Kosovo precedent’ for his attempts to legitimize Russia’s aggression against independent and sovereign European Ukraine, are unacceptable,“ the Ukrainian embassy in Belgrade said today.
The embassy reacted after official Moscow referred to a 2010 ruling of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo in a statement it issued on referendums on the annexation of Ukrainian areas to the Russian Federation.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the referendums were held in accordance with international law, and then cited the case of Kosovo.
„The people of Donbas and southern Ukraine have exercised their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter, the International Covenants on Human Rights of 1966, the Helsinki Final Act of the CSCE of 1975, as well as the conclusion of the UN International Court of Justice on Kosovo of July 22, 2010, which confirmed the fact that the unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the state does not violate any of the norms of international law,” the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia said today that they „have the honor“ of reiterating that Ukraine’s position regarding the territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia is principled, stable, and well known:
„Ukraine supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia.“
At the same time, they add that Ukraine supports the European aspirations of Serbia, as well as that they provide support for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under EU auspices.
The Ukrainian embassy says that „the narratives of the dictator from the Kremlin, who is trying to exploit the ‘Kosovo precedent’ for his attempts to legitimize Russia’s aggression against independent and sovereign European state – Ukraine, are unacceptable.”
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Russian officials, including the Russian president, have spoken of Kosovo as a precedent on several occasions.
„When Kosovo declared independence, the International Court of Justice, under pressure from Western countries, ruled that according to the UN Charter, when a country declares independence, there is no need to seek permission from the central government. This means that the republics of Donbas did not have to ask Kyiv for permission,“ Putin said back in June, justifying Russia’s decision to recognize the republics of Donbas.
Putin also accused the West of starting „large-scale wars“ in the past, of „breaking up Yugoslavia“, as well as „separating Kosovo from Serbia“.
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