Club de Madrid statement on Ukraine

We, the undersigned members of the Club de Madrid, a body comprised of democratically elected former Prime Ministers and Presidents of our countries, have been following with grave concern the rapid developments and the extremely tense situation that reigns in Ukraine. The military presence of foreign troops outside of their naval bases in the Crimean Peninsula is particularly inappropriate and any military incursions into Ukrainian territory are a flagrant breach of international law and of international treaties.

“de facto” military occupation is not only contrary to international law and the rights of sovereign nations, as expressed in the UN Charter and numerous other documents, but also undermines the whole political architecture and stability of Europe. It impacts negatively upon the nuclear non-proliferation regime, by defusing the role of security assurances to non-nuclear states. It raises doubts about the predictability of Russian leadership and destroys confidence in the ability of international bodies to deal with world affairs.

We fully recognize and respect the deep historic, cultural, linguistic and neighbourhood ties, that exist between the Russian and Ukrainian nations. It would be most regretful if these ties, which have played and could play in the future a very positive role in the dynamics of European development, would fall victim to short-sighted and unrealistic attempts to take advantage of the current difficulties in Ukraine.

We are particularly concerned about public pronouncements expressing the “legitimate concerns” of leaders of the Russian Federation within “the legitimate Russian sphere of interest”, which extends to all neighbouring countries. We vigorously denounce the invocation of any such deeply anti-democratic principle as being in every way contrary to international law and constituting an infringement on human rights and the rights of independent, sovereign countries.

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be fully respected. Any pseudo-legal move, such  as referenda held under military control or unilateral decisions by the regional authorities of occupied territories – Crimea or others – cannot be considered other than a tragic farce. All issues concerning self determination of peoples must be dealt with in accordance with the constitution of their country and within the framework of international law.

Ukrainian people have amply demonstrated their desire to acquire a new government, more responsive to the needs of its people, and plans are in place for democratic elections to confirm this. We fully support their desire for a more democratic and a more inclusive society and hope that they can make such a transition without further bloodshed and without armed interference from abroad. The Club de Madrid stands ready to accompany them in this journey.

Signing Members

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President, Club de Madrid. President of Latvia (1999-2007)

Jennifer Mary Shipley, Vicepresident, Club de Madrid. Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997-1999)

Jorge Fernando Quiroga, Vicepresident, Club de Madrid. President of Bolivia (2001-2002)

Abdul-Kareem Al Eryani, Prime Minister of Yemen. (1980-1983; 1998-2001)

Diego Hidalgo, Founder and Honorary President of FRIDE

James Mancham, President of Seychelles (1976-1977)

John Bruton, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland (1994-1997)

José Manuel Ramos-Horta, President of Timor Leste (2007-2012)

Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera, President of Uruguay (1990-1995)

Osvaldo Hurtado, President of Ecuador (1981-1984)

Petre Roman, President of Rumania (1989-1991)

Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania (1997-2002)

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980-1996)

Wim Kok, Primer Minister of the Netherlands (1994-2002)

Zlatko Lagumdzija, Prime Minister & Herzegovina (2001-2002)


And 72 other Members