It was disappointing to find that the ST publication “US attention poses dangers for Ukraine” dated 7 October 2019 was accompanied by an illustration of Ukraine's map without the Crimean peninsula, the territory, which was illegally occupied by Russia in 2014. While this unacceptable illustration may have been picked unintentionally, we would like to explain its meaning to the readers of the Straits Times. Under International law, Crimea is and will remain the territory of Ukraine.
What happened in March 2014 was the first forceful and clearly, unlawful land grab in Europe since Hitler.
Russia's ongoing aggression has destroyed all positive ties between the two nations and dealt a heavy blow to the rules-based international order. It broke its own promise to respect Ukraine’s borders, given in exchange for Ukraine’s nuclear weapons under the 1994 Budapest memorandum. It showed that a member of the UN Security Council can in a whiff turn from a respected international referee into an aggressor.
So, it is not just about a falsely painted spot on a map, but about law, justice, peace and – most importantly – thousands human lives that have been so dramatically and unfairly shaken ever since Russia decided to start this heinous undeclared war.
It is not just an attack on Ukraine, but an attack on the rules-based order.
In this time of challenge, we rely on every voice in support of international law, order and justice, and Ukraine is thankful to Singapore for all the support and its principled position.
Any validation whatsoever to the 2014 land grab, be it in form of a political statement or in a clumsily drawn map, is unacceptable.