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PACE demands Russia withdraw troops from Ukraine

PACE demands Russia withdraw troops from Ukraine
Kristýna Zelienková
Photo: assembly.coe.int

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has said that only "significant and measurable progress" by Russia towards implementation of three recent resolutions* of the Assembly can form the basis for restoration of a fully-fledged, mutually respectful dialogue.

In a resolution on the political consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine, based on a report by Kristýna Zelienková (Czech Republic, ALDE), PACE called on Russia to "reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea and allow Ukraine to regain control of the peninsula", to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine and stop military supplies to separatists.

It also condemned the recent Duma elections held in occupied Crimea as "a blunt violation of international law" which effectively compromised the legitimacy of the Russian parliament.

The Assembly warned of the development of a "frozen" or "semi-frozen" conflict, prolonging instability and insecurity in Ukraine and the whole of Europe. Russia’s actions had also undermined progress towards "a strategic partnership with the Russian Federation over the last decades", it said.

At the same time, the parliamentarians called on Ukraine to speed up implementation of promised reforms. "Only a democratic Ukraine with stable, efficient and accountable institutions, a pluralistic political environment and free media, following through at last on the promises of the Euromaidan to reform a corrupt and oligarchic system, will be a strong and prosperous Ukraine, capable of stopping external aggression and restoring peace," they said.