October 2, 2019. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) calls on Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to make clear to the Ukrainian people and the international community that Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity are non-negotiable.
On October 1, President Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine has acceded to Russia’s demands to accept the so-called ‘Steinmeier Formula,’ the details of which are unclear and can be open to interpretation, in exchange for a meeting of the leaders of the ‘Normandy Format’ countries (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia).
“Many citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainians abroad are very troubled by President Zelenskyy’s concession to Russian conditions to hold a summit meeting,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the UCC. “President Zelenskyy needs to make clear that Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity are non-negotiable.”
This announcement follows President Zelenskyy’s agreement to Russia’s demands to include Volodymyr Tsemakh in the prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia that took place on September 7. Tsemakh, a key suspect in the downing of Flight MH-17, which was shot down by the Russian military over occupied eastern Ukraine in July 2014, was held in Ukrainian custody until being released to Russia.
The UCC calls on President Zelenskyy to ensure that:
1) No elections take place in the Russian-occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts until all Russian troops, mercenaries, weapons and materiel are withdrawn from Ukrainian territory and Ukraine regains complete control of the Ukrainian side of the Ukraine-Russia border;
2) Ukraine’s strategic course for Euro-Atlantic and NATO integration, as set out in Ukraine’s Constitution, is non-negotiable and immutable;
3) Ukraine will continue to stress to foreign governments that international sanctions on Russia must be strengthened and expanded until Russia de-occupies sovereign Ukrainian territory of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Press release from the Ukrainian World Congress: