Armenian Deputy Minister of Finance: The stadium will not pay off all debts of Armavia

Armenian Cause and Cyprus among key items on Ahmet Davutoglu's agenda

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank issues student loans within 15 minutes

SCR CJSC to attend sitting of Traffic Safety Committee of Council for Rail Transport in Minsk on Sept 2-3

Edward Nalbandian makes a statement on the Resolution of California Senate recognizing the Independence of Artsakh

Expert: Yerevan's refusal to participate in Turkish president's swearing-in ceremony could put international pressure on Armenia

David Babayan: Azerbaijan's stand on Yazidis of Iraq describes it as a Nazi country

David Babayan: Recognition of NKR's independence by California is equivalent to recognition by a big and influential state

VTB Bank (Armenia) consumers may now get standing orders for paying for Beeline services

Anelik Bank presents a new credit product - Simple-Fast Extra

Alexander Manasyan: In big-league politics Erdogan's anti-Armenian statements are a trifle

Expert: Increase in water release from Lake Sevan endangers the lake ecosystem

Politician: Perhaps great powers have promised Armenia to pressure Turkey into opening Armenian-Turkish border

Armenian general suggests delivering a series of preventive surgical strikes at Azeri army's combat positions

General: Even Turkish instructors admit low combat effectiveness of Azeri army

Mika Stadium placed on auction

Resident of Artashat wounded in shooting

Armenian Foreign Minister to attend Erdogan's swearing-in ceremony

VTB Bank (Armenia) offers a new installment credit with 1% discount

Beeline provides its subscribers with free access to its website

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank announces a CASHBACK QUEST contest for AmExR Cashback cardholders

Ameriabank launches AmeriaToken - innovative application for smartphones of customers using online services

Employees of Areximbank-Gazprombank Group join international Ice Bucket flashmob

Armenian Presidnet: Not everybody is glad that Armenia is joining the Customs Union

Armenian FM may attend inauguration of Turkish President

Armenian President is comfortable with activities of parliamentary opposition

Vice Speaker of Armenian Parliament: Mass violence applied against Yazidis in Iraq is unacceptable

Georgian Military road completely cleared

President of Armenia: Baku organizes provocations at the highest level


Ivan Kuhta: Difference of our political orientation will not affect Ukrainian-Armenian relations

Zardusht Alizadeh: Arriving in Sochi, Aliyev and Sargsyan once again demonstrated the world that Russia is still the demiurge in the Caucasus

Masis Mailyan: Unlike Azerbaijan, global centers of force are not interested in growing tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone

Sergey Grinyayev:The West’s sanctions are extremely positive for the Eurasian Union project

Alexey Kolomiyets: West's sanction will hardly sober Putin and the Kremlin

Hrant Bagratyan: Sanctions will have tangible impact on Armenia

Georgi Kolarov: The second Nagorno-Karabakh war is inevitable

Artashes Shaboyan: Reduction in consumer demand has a negative effect on supermarkets

Tigran Davtyan: If you have a telephone with you, it means that you have a wallet with you too

Shmuel Meirom: Israel is willing to contribute of its experience in the field of economy, but it cannot force Israeli business to invest in Armenia

Marine Karapetyan: Ameriabank on large business: problems and solutions

Eduard Sharmazanov: The opposition camp has no leader to steer the people

Alexander Zinker: Readiness of the Kremlin to protect its “Big Russian world” is dangerous for Russia itself

Vahe Davtyan: lternative power engineering should be developed regardless of fluctuations in electric power tariffs

Alexander Krylov: Taking into consideration the experience of the EU, Russia has to refuse maximal extension of the Eurasian Economic Union

British Ambassador to Armenia calls referendum in Crimea illegitimate

  • by Ashot Safaryan

  • Saturday, March 15, 11:43

UK Ambassador to Armenia Katherine Leach calls the upcoming referendum in Crimea illegitimate. 

The ambassador writes in her blog: "All of us who care about peace in Europe have been shocked by the events in Crimea over the past two weeks. On Sunday a referendum will be held in Crimea in which there is no option for those who wish to keep Crimea's status as part of Ukraine unchanged. People may only vote to join Russia, or to vote for de-facto independence, by bringing back a defunct 1992 constitution.

Russia supports the referendum. But the G7, the EU, other Security Council members and the wider international community are clear that the referendum in Crimea on 16 March will be illegal. As the OSCE Chair and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said on March 11, any referendum regarding Ukraine's territorial integrity or Crimea's autonomy or sovereignty has to be based on the Ukrainian constitution and has to be in line with international law.

The conduct of the referendum will also be entirely illegitimate. Can a referendum be free and fair when it is organized at two weeks' notice; when there are unidentifiable, armed militias on the streets; when journalists are harassed and their equipment confiscated; when international representatives are blocked from entering Crimea; and when, despite Russian denials, there is clear evidence that Russian troops have left their bases and have been taking over infrastructure across Crimea, in clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements?

To be fair, to be sustainable and to ultimately resolve rather than create more problems, a referendum has to be the end point of an open and inclusive process of discussion and negotiation. It can only be contemplated when it is clear that all sides are prepared, peacefully, to accept the result. This is one reason why, in the UK, we are able to have a referendum on the independence of Scotland this year.

After two world wars devastated Europe in the 20th  century, a web of international institutions have been put in place, and reinforced after 1991, to help us avoid repeating the bitter confrontations of the past and to settle disputes peacefully. Organisations like the OSCE and the Council of Europe, of which Russia is an integral member, exist to help states address questions of self-determination and defend the rights of minorities.  We continue to urge Russia to use these institutions, to engage seriously in diplomacy with the Ukrainian government and to find a peaceful resolution. It is not too late. A vital first step will be for President Putin to refrain from recognizing the outcome of the vote on Sunday."

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)

Your name



View comments (0)

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields