"We condemn any act of aggression against Ukraine"

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Statement by Ambassador Lyall Grant of the UK Mission to the UN, to the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine

Madame President

The United Kingdom is deeply concerned by the escalation of tensions in the Crimean Peninsula, and by the fact that the Russian parliament has authorised Russian military action on Ukrainian soil against the wishes of the Ukrainian Government. This action is a grave threat to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We condemn any act of aggression against Ukraine.

We have therefore sought an immediate and full explanation from the Russian Federation for the decision to authorise military action on sovereign Ukrainian soil, and of the basis for it under international law.

Earlier today my Prime Minister called on all parties to think carefully about their actions and work to lower, not escalate, tensions.

Yesterday my Foreign Secretary spoke to Ukrainian Acting President Turchynov and made clear the UK’s support for Ukraine’s new government. He urged him to ensure that the government takes measures which unify the country, and that it protects the rights of all Ukraine’s citizens, including those from minority groups, in a spirit of inclusiveness. And he assured him of the UK’s commitment to Ukraine’s Territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty

The UK Government supports the Ukrainian Government’s request for urgent consultations in accordance with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum signed by the UK, US, Russia and Ukraine. We see no reason why these consultations should not take place immediately.

Yesterday this Council expressed support for Ukraine‘s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and agreed that all political actors should show restraint. It is critical that the Russian Federation respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and takes immediate steps to calm this dangerous situation.