Council of Europe regrets that Russia is using minority rights as an excuse to invade Ukraine

Council of Europe / Photo: MIA

The Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (RCNM) strongly condemned the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine and "regrets that the Russian authorities use minority rights issues as an excuse for invasion". The Committee is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation of interethnic relations in Ukraine.

The committee's press release, adopted at the plenary session, expressed the horror of the loss of life and human suffering caused by the war, which also affects people belonging to national minorities in war-torn areas, internally displaced persons and refugees.

"Ukraine is a multiethnic country, and the most devastated regions of eastern and southern Ukraine are home to many national minorities," the Advisory Committee noted, joining the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in condemning the barbaric violence against women and children.

"The Advisory Committee is deeply concerned that the war has exacerbated the situation in Ukraine for inter-ethnic relations, deepening mistrust between those who identify as ethnic Russians and the majority population. "This will also affect those who identify with other national minorities or as Ukrainians, but use Russian as the main language of communication," the statement said.

"Aggression not only violates Russia's obligations under the Statute of the Council of Europe, but is contrary to the principles of the Framework Convention and this contradiction" could not be sharper, "the Committee said. According to the Framework Convention, the protection of national minorities is an integral part of international human protection, and the provisions of the Convention "shall be applied in good faith, in a spirit of understanding and tolerance and in accordance with the principles of good neighborliness, friendly relations and co-operation between States." .

As a result of the aggression, the Russian Federation was expelled from the Council of Europe. Given that the Framework Convention is open to non-member countries, the Russian Federation remains a party to this convention and is therefore bound by its obligations and subject to its monitoring procedure. In this context and the circumstances that allow it, the Advisory Committee will continue to closely monitor the consequences of these developments on persons belonging to national minorities in the Russian Federation.

Video of the day