Estonian and Latvian Parliaments Vote To Recognise Russian Actions In Ukraine As Genocide

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Estonian and Latvian Parliaments Vote To Recognise Russian Actions In Ukraine As Genocide

The parliaments of Latvia and Estonia have voted unanimously to recognise Russian actions in Ukraine as 'genocide'.


The move is likely to increase tensions even further between Russia and the Baltic states following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February, which is now in its third month and shows no sign of coming to an end.


Estonia and Latvia border Russia to the West and like Ukraine were formerly run from Moscow as part of the Soviet Union until they achieved independence in the early 1990s. Unlike Ukraine both nations are members of both NATO and of the EU. Many in these nations fear that Russia may wish to seize their nations as part of its long-term strategy of expansionism.


In international law, genocide is the act of intentionally destroying a national or ethnic group and is regarded as a war crime. Following Russia's retreat from the northern areas around Kyiv mass graves have been found alongside a large amount of evidence clearly indicating that Ukrainian civilians had been systematically killed by the occupiers.


In evidence, the Estonian parliament cited the following actions against civilians:


"Murders, enforced disappearances, deportations, imprisonment, torture, rape, and desecration of corpses."


The move by the parliaments comes not long after US President Joe Biden used the term genocide to refer to actions in Ukraine. He said:


"Yes, I called it genocide because it has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be Ukrainian and the evidence is mounting. We'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me."


However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan have refused so far to use the term, with Sullivan saying:


"Based on what we have seen so far, we have seen atrocities. We have seen war crimes. We have not seen a level of systematic deprivation of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to the level of genocide."


While French President Emmanuel Macron also said that using the term genocide would make it much more difficult to secure a peace agreement that brings the conflict to an end.


Joe Biden and others have stated a desire to see US President Vladmir Putin and his allies face a war-crimes trial. However, many analysts see that as a highly unlikely outcome.


[Based on reporting by: Reuters]


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Thinking Humanity: Estonian and Latvian Parliaments Vote To Recognise Russian Actions In Ukraine As Genocide
Estonian and Latvian Parliaments Vote To Recognise Russian Actions In Ukraine As Genocide
The parliaments of Latvia and Estonia have voted unanimously to recognise Russian actions in Ukraine as 'genocide'. The move is likely to increase ten
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