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Statement of the Prime Ministers of the Visegrád Countries on Ukraine

The Prime Ministers of the Visegrád Countries are deeply concerned about the recent violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the fact that the Russian parliament has authorized military action on Ukrainian soil against the wishes of the Ukrainian Government. This represents a serious escalation.

We condemn all action threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and call on to decrease the tensions immediately through dialogue, in full respect of Ukrainian and international law and in line with the provisions of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.

The Visegrád Countries believe that the recent military actions by Russia are not only in violation of international law, but also create a dangerous new reality in Europe. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are appalled to witness a military intervention in 21st century Europe akin to their own experiences in 1956, 1968 and 1981.

The Prime Ministers of the Visegrád Countries call on Russia to respect its international commitments and legal obligations, including the Budapest Memorandum. We have always recognized historical ties between Russia and Ukraine. Their specific character implies due respect to the legitimate rights of Russian minority population. Nevertheless, any related concerns must be addressed peacefully, through engagement with the government of Ukraine and under the auspices of relevant international organizations, especially that of the OSCE.

The Visegrád Countries are in solidarity with the people and Government of Ukraine and reiterate their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. It is more important than ever to ensure that the Government takes measures which unify the country, and that it protects the rights of all Ukraine's citizens, including those of cultural, national and linguistic minority groups, in the spirit of inclusiveness.

The European Union and NATO should demonstrate solidarity with and assist Ukraine in this difficult moment and stand united in the face of this dangerous development threatening European peace and security.