Russia calls for dialogue with Ukraine separatists following referendum

[JURIST] The office of Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] has declared that it does not wish to annex eastern Ukraine where "self-rule" referendums have overwhelmingly supported secession, but called on the Kiev government to open dialogue with the separatists. The referendums, organized by pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine's Russian-speaking eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, claim a vote of about 90 percent in favor of forming their own sovereign nations. Separatist leaders have also expressed interest in joining the Russian Federation. Although Russia annexed the Crimea region [JURIST report] after a similar referendum in March, they have disavowed any interest [AP report] in doing the same with Ukraine's eastern regions and state that they wish the dispute to be resolved peacefully.

The ongoing conflict [BBC timeline] in Ukraine has reinvigorated fears of Cold War Era politics and increased tensions between Russia and the West. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] urged [JURIST report] Ukraine opposition groups in May to "lay down their weapons" and come to a peaceful resolution to the conflict. In April, the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] announced [JURIST report] that it has begun preliminary investigations into alleged crimes against humanity perpetrated during the unrest in Ukraine. Earlier that month, the UN approved a resolution invalidating Crimea's [JURIST backgrounder] secession from Ukraine less than a week after the EU imposed sanctions [JURIST reports] on Russia for annexing the region.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.