BRUSSELS – Lithuania, Luxembourg and Sweden have explicitly backed Ukraine’s right to use force against pro-Russian separatists.
Lithuania’s UN envoy, Raimonda Murmokaite, and her Luxembourg counterpart, Olivier Maes, made the statements at a snap UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on Sunday (13 April).
“When the existence of the state is put in danger, we support the right of Ukraine to defend itself in the face of external aggression and to tackle militant separatism and continuous provocations,” Murmokaite said.
“Ukraine has the right to defend herself under article 51 of the United Nations charter,” Maes noted.
Sweden, which is not on the UNSC, added through its foreign minister, Carl Bildt, on Twitter: “If illegal armed groups took over police stations and local government offices in Sweden we would use all our instruments to restore order.”
The statements came hours before the expiry on Monday morning of an ultimatum issued by Ukraine’s caretaker government for armed pro-Russian separatists to cede control of government buildings in several cities in the eastern regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Luhansk.
The UNSC meeting was called by Russia, which, according to the US and the UK, has 40,000 elite troops massed on the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Full article: Three EU countries back Ukraine’s use of force (EU Observer)