March 10th, 2014

Взгляд вправо

Statement of Concerned Scholars Regarding the Conflict in Ukraine

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Sunday, 9 March 2014


We, the undersigned, are scholars of Ukrainian and Russian affairs whose knowledge of and respect for the people of the region bring us together today. Although we hold diverse views regarding the origins, evolution, and likely outcome of the current crisis in Ukraine, we agree on the following five points:

1) The continued Russian occupation of Crimea cannot be supported by reference to international law, international norms, or interstate agreements. Russian troops in Ukraine should return to their barracks immediately and all parties should allow the OSCE to enter Crimea as a neutral observer. The use of troops in unmarked uniforms must cease.
2) No status referendum in Crimea can be considered legitimate under the current circumstances. Such referenda require, at minimum, the agreement of national and regional governments, a clear question, sustained public discussion of the ramifications of yes and no votes, and the option of international monitoring to ensure a free and fair process. They cannot be held under military occupation and should be considered only as a last resort after all other democratic avenues of resolution have failed.
3) In addition to early presidential elections, the acting Ukrainian government should call early parliamentary elections and invite international election observers to monitor the campaign and the vote.
4) Ukrainian authorities should adopt deliberately inclusive policies towards the linguistic, ethnic, and cultural groups of Ukraine in order to increase mutual trust and facilitate national reconciliation. Sustainable inclusion may require a newly elected Ukrainian government to introduce measures to increase political decentralization.
5) Interested parties around the world should avoid unnecessarily inflammatory, confrontational, and militaristic rhetoric in regards to the conflict. Such rhetoric inevitably raises tensions and endangers the lives and livelihoods of all people in the region.


We call upon all parties to work towards a peaceful, sustainable, and fair resolution to the current conflict in Ukraine.
Authors

Juliet Johnson, Department of Political Science, McGill University, Canada

Maria Popova, Department of Political Science, McGill University, Canada
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