- The Ukrainian revolution of February 2014 and the subsequent victory of pro-European Union (EU) parties and individuals in free and fair elections in that country, indicating the desire of the Ukrainian people to move into a closer relationship with the EU, but not a desire for armed confrontation with Russia.
- Russia’s invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea through the use of armed force and a fraudulent referendum, in clear violation of international law.
- Ongoing support for armed groups in eastern Ukraine by Russia, through the provision of equipment, vehicles and even indirect fire from over the international border into Ukrainian territory.
- The threat that the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine poses to the lives of the people of that region, as well as the sovereignty and integrity of the Ukrainian state, and its ability to fulfil the wishes of its population for a closer alignment with the EU.
- Frequent provocative incursions into NATO airspace by Russian aircraft, as well as large-scale military exercises and concentrations by Russia along its common border with Ukraine.
- Relations between states must be founded on respect for basic norms of behaviour, including refraining “from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” and settling “their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”
- That the United Kingdom, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, as a leading member of the EU and as a major economic, military and diplomatic power, has a responsibility to help ensure that these basic norms of behaviour are complied with by all states.
- Liberals, as internationalists, should be at the forefront of the argument for ensuring that all states respect not only each other, but also each other’s peoples and their expressed wishes through free and democratic institutions. An international society ordered through commonly agreed rules and institutions represents a far brighter world for humankind and Liberalism than one organised simply by the raw destructive power of the mightiest actors.
Conference calls for:
- Liberal Youth to lobby the Liberal Democrats to press for a firmer line in response to repeated Russian violations of international law, including (but not limited to) tougher sanctions aimed at individuals and companies close to the Putin Presidency, until such time as the Russian state withdraws from its occupation of Crimea, ceases all military involvement in the fighting in eastern Ukraine and respects the wishes of the Ukrainian people with regards to the future of their country.
- Liberal Youth to press the Liberal Democrats to affirm a commitment to NATO as the best defensive framework to respond to ongoing Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, and as the best institution to build common bonds to resist attempts by Russia to pry apart European states, and to separate Europe and the US on key issues confronting them.
- Liberal Youth to build co-operation with similar groups in Ukraine, to nurture and grow the bonds of pan-European friendship that will help that country become a full member of the EU, through such bodies as IFLRY.
- Liberal Youth to campaign to keep the plight of the people of eastern Ukraine and Crimea prominent in the public eye.