March 25, 2016


“…It is unacceptable that military force, deception and disinformation is used to change borders in Europe in the 21st century. …

“Ukraine, as any other sovereign nation, has the right to make her own foreign and security policy choices, and to retain the integrity of her own territory. We cannot accept that another country interferes with that right. …

“We cannot remain passive when Russia decides to undermine the security order, which has been established over the last 25 years, by seizing the territory of a neighboring state. Russia clearly seeks to establish another security order where great powers divide Europe in spheres of interest. This is disturbing as we believe in international law where all states have a right of self-determination.

“Even as other urgent security issues arise on our agenda we cannot accept what Russia has done in Ukraine. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its involvement in eastern Ukraine remain the greatest challenge to the European security order.”

– Peter Hultqvist and Juozas Olekas, ministers of defense, respectively, of Sweden and Lithuania, writing on March 18 on the Atlantic Council website (