Conflicts within Euro-peace pact

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The Independent Online
From Mr Taras Kuzio

Sir: The adoption of the new security and stability pact by the EU under France's chairmanship (report, 20 March) should be welcomed by all those who wish to see an end to ethnic conflict and territorial disputes along the lines of Bosnia and Chechnya in Europe. In particular, Russia's signature to the pact is a welcome recognition at long last by its leaders that it has accepted the preservation of territorial integrity as one of the fundamental tenants of European security.

Unfortunately, Russia's support for the security and stability pact seems to contradict its policies in the former USSR where its forces either covertly or openly have supported separatism and ethnic conflict in Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and elsewhere.

The most glaring contradiction remains the case of Ukraine, a country central to European security and stability. The Russian Federation, together with the UK, and US, signed a memorandum on security assurances for Ukraine at the Budapest OSCE conference in December of last year that guaranteed Ukraine's territorial integrity. But the Russian leadership has remained reluctant to enshrine acceptance of these principles in an inter-state treaty that would be legally binding. Indeed, leading Russian politicians are now demanding economic and political sanctions against Ukraine over its actions against Crimean separatism, although Kiev is merely dealing with a problem that Moscow has claimed is the internal affair of any state since its intervention in Chechnya.

The new stability and security pact will only be respected if there are no double standards across Europe and all its members accept the principle that the territorial integrity of all states is inviolable.

Yours faithfully,

TARAS KUZIO

Editor, Ukraine Business Review

London, SW1

21 March

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