GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping today joined the global community in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
CARICOM has called for an immediate and complete withdrawal of military forces from the Eastern European country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday launched the military operation in Ukraine, with explosions being heard across the country and Ukraine’s foreign minister warning a “full-scale invasion” was under way.
Weeks of intense diplomacy and the imposition of Western sanctions on Russia failed to deter Putin, who had massed between 150,000 and 200,000 troops along the borders of Ukraine.
Russia has demanded an end to NATO’s eastward expansion and said Ukrainian membership of the US-led Atlantic military alliance was unacceptable.
CARICOM, which last week had urged “all parties involved to act responsibly”, said that Moscow should withdraw its troops and the “cessation of any further actions that may intensify the current perilous situation in that country.
“The recognition by The Russian Federation of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk represents a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” CARICOM said.
It argued that the hostilities against Ukraine go counter to the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign state and the prohibition on the threat or use of force and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
“CARICOM maintains that the principles of universal respect and adherence to these norms and principles of international law are fundamental to the maintenance of the international system and global peace and security.
“CARICOM calls for all parties involved to urgently embark on intensified diplomatic dialogue to immediately de-escalate hostilities and work towards a sustainable peace,” it added.
Western countries have reacted to the invasion by imposing economic sanctions on Russia and its leadership.