The following statement was released by the Ukrainian World Congress on May 26.
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) expresses deep concern over the prospect of holding an “advisory referendum” regarding a peace deal with Russia as proposed by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on May 23.
Firstly, there is no legal basis in Ukraine for conducting an “advisory referendum.” Secondly, holding such a referendum while Russia wages a massive information warfare campaign in Ukraine shall threaten the sovereignty of Ukraine. And finally, it is obvious that the Ukrainian people want peace, and there is no need for a referendum on the question.
The statement by President Volodomyr Zelensky can be read at this link: https://www.president.gov.ua/news/mi-hochemo-pochuti-dumku-lyudej-shodo-mozhlivih-peregovoriv-55577.
The UWC considers it unacceptable to conduct a referendum that would force Ukraine’s hand in concluding negotiations with an aggressor state that, for over five years, has been waging a war against Ukraine having occupied Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Every day Ukraine’s brave soldiers put their lives on the line defending the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.
“Ukrainians aspire for peace. However, a peace deal with Moscow is only possible upon the condition of the return to Ukraine of the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas, and the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian lands,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “The deoccupation of all Ukrainian territories by Russia – this is the obligation of Ukrainian governing authorities, diplomats and military personnel in close cooperation with the international community. It is unacceptable to transfer the responsibility of what such a deal should look like, especially during a full scale Russian war of disinformation.”
As the Ukrainian nation has continued for the past five years to combat Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and implement significant reforms along with its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, the president of Ukraine’s priority must be to “guarantee the state sovereignty, territorial integrity of Ukraine, uphold the Constitution of Ukraine” and to further, using all means, the “realization of the strategic course of the state to attain Ukraine’s full membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization” (Art. 102 Constitution of Ukraine).