Illegal Annexation: Russian Ambassador in Vienna Summoned

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: October 4, 2022; 10:46 ♦ (Vindobona)

Like several other European countries, Austria summoned Russian Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky yesterday to tell him that Russia's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory was an unacceptable violation of international law. The ambassador defended himself and spoke of referendums with free expression of will in full accordance with the norms and principles of international law.

Russian Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky was summoned after the Russian Federation annexed several territories in Ukraine. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons;, CC BY 3.0

In a joint action by several EU Member States, the Republic of Austria yesterday summoned the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to send a signal against the annexation, which is contrary to international law.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky was informed that Austria strongly condemns and resolutely rejects the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya following the illegal sham referenda.

The Republic of Austria made it clear that the annexation of the Ukrainian territories was an "unacceptable breach of international law" and that Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Crimea would continue to be part of Ukraine.

Already after the illegal sham referenda in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine, the Austrian Foreign Ministry published a message strongly condemning Russia's actions and making clear that Austria would not recognise the forced results. Vindobona reported.

Now Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg also spoke out on Twitter.

Other EU countries such as Poland, Germany, Belgium and Italy have also summoned the Russian ambassador. The foreign ministry in Warsaw has informed Ambassador Sergei Andreyev of the Polish position on Russia's illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions, a spokesman said, according to the German Press Agency (dpa). This was an action by several EU countries who had all agreed to make their position clear to Russian ambassadors at about the same time.

Russian ambassador defends referendums

Reacting to the summons and criticism of the Russian approach, Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky said, among other things, that the referenda were a free expression of the will of millions of people in full compliance with the norms and principles of international law.

He invoked the legitimate right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter, the 1966 International Covenants on Human Rights and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.

He said that Russia had not committed any act contrary to international law and that the referendums had taken place under fair conditions - a view only shared by few states outside Russia.

He added that the European Union, as well as individual EU capitals, can declare what they want. But these declarations do not, and cannot, change anything - the relevant agreements have been signed, four new subjects of the federation have been incorporated into the Russian Federation.

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs

Russian Embassy in Vienna