Only a firm and joint international response to Russian aggression can stop the Kremlin’s bloody intentions to restore the Russian empire.
That’s according to President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, who spoke via video link, addressing the second Crimea Platform Summit, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“It should be clear by now that Russian actions can bring only more deaths and destruction. Appeasement does not work. Only our firm and united response may destroy the bloody vision of the restoration of the Russian empire. Therefore it is vital to strengthen the international sanctions, continue Russia’s political and economic isolation, and limit its ability to prolong this war,” the Lithuanian leader emphasized.
He noted that Russia unleashed a full-scale war against Ukraine and committed numerous atrocities against its brave people, trying to undermine the very existence of an independent and free Ukraine. In addition, Russia challenges the entire global security architecture and the rules-based international order.
The leader of Lithuania recalled that it was in the situation surrounding the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea that the inability of the international community to take more decisive actions was particularly noticeable. As a result, even today, Russia explots the illegally annexed peninsula as a base for new military attacks against Ukraine. Local residents, especially Ukrainian rights defenders and Crimean Tatars, suffer disproportionately under the occupation.
“Russian war constitutes a crime of extraordinary proportions. The international community is united, the war must be stopped. Our duty is to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. This is where the international Crimean Platform becomes of great importance. It is to keep our attention focus on Crimea, a place place where a Russian invasion started eight years ago. … Crimea must therefore also become the place where this senseless war ends. To stop further attacks against the Ukrainian statehood, the peninsula must be returned to its rightful owners,” Gitanas Nauseda emphasized.
He separately emphasized that those Ukrainians who were captured and imprisoned by the occupiers must be released. The peninsula must be liberated, otherwise no one, including Russia itself, will be able to guarantee security for the occupiers or for the “colonists” arriving there.
In turn, according to Nauseda, in order to increase their own resilience, the Europeans should get rid of dependence on Russian energy resources together – and this is exactly the path that Lithuania took after the war started.
“Our assistance is critical in supporting both Ukraine’s military efforts and the effective functioning of its economy. We must be ready to help in rebuilding the country now. Finally, we must always remember that Ukraine is fighting for all of us, that the outcome of this war will define the future of Europe. It must be Ukraine who wins for the right cause,” added the President of Lithuania.
As reported earlier, today, at Ukraine’s initiative, the second Crimea Platform Summit is taking place, the main goal of which is to combine international efforts to liberate Crimea from Russian occupation and restore the international legal order. Due to the security situation, this year’s event is being held partly via teleconference. Representatives from 60 countries of the world, including 40 presidents and prime ministers, are participating. This year, representatives of two more continents – Africa and Latin America – are taking part in the Crimea Summit for the first time.