The following statement was issued on December 8, 2019 from UCC National President Alexandra Chyczij
On December 9, the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia – the so-called “Normandy Format” leaders – are scheduled to meet in Paris for “peace” talks for the first time since 2016.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) wishes success to President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian delegation as they prepare to enter into these difficult and complex discussions.
We reaffirm our position, along with the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), that Russia must be compelled to end its military aggression against Ukraine.
For more than five years, Russia and its proxies have been waging a bloody war against Ukraine, having invaded and occupied parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, after annexing Crimea in 2014. Russia’s war in Ukraine has resulted in over 13,000 deaths, 30,000 wounded and 1.5 million internally displaced people, and it continues to this day.
The UCC calls upon Germany, France, Ukraine and its allies to maintain a clear and unequivocal position that:
- No elections can take place in the Russian-occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts until all Russian troops, mercenaries, weapons and materiel are withdrawn from Ukrainian territory, Ukraine regains complete control of the Ukrainian side of the Ukraine-Russia border, a reasonable normalization period will allow for the reestablishment of democratic institutions and the displaced residents of the Donbas region are allowed to peacefully return to their homes.
- Ukraine’s strategic course for Euro-Atlantic and NATO integration, as set out in Ukraine’s Constitution, is non-negotiable and immutable.
- International sanctions on Russia must continue to be strengthened and expanded until Russia de-occupies the sovereign Ukrainian territory of Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
- There can be no negotiations with the leaders of the Russia-controlled terrorist organizations of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR).
- Russia bears full responsibility for rebuilding war-torn Ukraine and paying reparations to all affected by their war against Ukraine and downing of Malaysian airliner MH17.
Any concessions on these “red lines” will seriously impair the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state, security in Europe and cause civil strife within the country – which is exactly Russia’s intent.