THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS,
1. recognises that the future of Ukraine is a matter which belongs to all the Ukrainian people. The future direction of Ukraine can only be democratically decided by the people of Ukraine without pressure or interference from any foreign country.
2. reiterates its solidarity with Ukraine and its people and stresses that the current crisis must be resolved peacefully;
3. condemns the unlawful violation of the Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation and considers the "referendum" held in Crimea on 16 March 2014 on joining the Russian Federation as totally illegal and illegitimate, in clear violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and international treaties; calls on the Russian Federation and Ukraine to start as soon as possible talk in order to de-escalate the situation with a view to reach the status-quo ante in the region and full respect with the relevant international agreements concerning Crimea;
4. calls on the Russian Federation to refrain from any type of military, political or economic intimidating actions affecting the integrity of its neighbours, and to deescalate the build-up of military forces on the border of Ukraine and in the Transnistrian region, and on the borders with the Baltic States; is concerned about the newest developments in Moldova – especially in the context of the outside initiated referendum in the region of Gagauzia – where in a similar way as in Ukraine, foreign forces try to block Moldava's way towards the European Union; urges Russia to guarantee the safeguard of the rights and properties of all citizens in Crimea, in particular the minority populations of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tartars;
5. condemns the unceasing, intolerable intimidation of civil society and press and media representatives in Crimea;
6. supports the calls for the launching of effective negotiations for a peaceful solution under the auspices of the OSCE Contact group and supports the deployment of a fully-fledged OSCE monitoring mission in Crimea;
7. welcomes the signature of the political chapters of the Association Agreement between the Ukraine and the European Union on 21 March 2014; is in favour of a swift decision for temporarily removing customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the European Union;
8. endorses the March EU Council decision to speed up the signature of Association agreements with Moldova and Georgia; stresses that the available EU financial instruments for Moldova should deliver results more rapidly in order to support its European pathway;
9.reiterates its call on regional and local authorities within the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) partner countries to support and share the European values and perspectives;
10. strongly supports the demand of the Ukrainian people, for democracy, freedom, respect of human rights and of the rule of law;
11. calls on the Ukrainian government to continue to ensure the full respect of minorities within the frame of its international commitments, in line with the European convention of Human rights, the Helsinki Final Act and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;
12. suggests that the respect of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and the respect of local autonomy along the Charter of Local Self-Government be included in a renewed Constitution to be designed after the Presidential vote in May 2014;
13. encourages the Ukrainian government to launch an extensive programme of administrative and structural reforms comprising political, economic and social change, including a sustainable process of decentralisation and the devolution of responsibilities and resources to local and regional governments;
14. points out that Crimea and Sevastopol have a special autonomous status within the Ukrainian state; guaranteeing this special autonomous status must constitute another basis for tackling the current crisis;
15. reiterates its full commitment to be involved in the overall EU assistance to regional and local authorities to find appropriate solutions to the crisis and to share best practices and know-how with Ukrainian partners in the field of decentralization. Commits to a prompt development of a new relationship and a broader civic engagement with Ukrainian towns , cities and regional bodies and in addition civic organisations and societies which are committed the principles of local democracy and accountability;
16. urges Ukraine to ensure that the Presidential elections on 25 May 2014 are democratic and transparent and expects early parliamentary elections to be called;
17. instructs the President of the Committee of the Regions to submit this resolution to the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the Greek presidency of the EU and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
 See CoR resolution on the situation in the Ukraine adopted on 31 January 2014 (RESOL-V-010).