One hundred years ago, Europe began a process of self-destruction, caused by a series of catastrophic diplomatic failures which amplified one another for decades. In the twentieth century, Europe was divided. In the first years of this twenty-first century, glimmers of optimism that a new, cooperative, European unity could be born from freedom, democracy and a universal respect for human rights began to grow.
Today, however Europe is again divided. The oppressive, corrupt and divisive regime in Ukraine sought legitimacy from a divisive and oppressive regime in the Russian Federation. Basic respect for human rights were the price of cooperation with the European Union, mere complicity the price of cooperation with Russia. On the first of March 2014, the Federation Council of Russia voted to deploy military force in Ukraine, and the leaders of Europe and the wider international community must respond. This is the culmination of yet another series of diplomatic failures.
On behalf of the next generation of Europe’s leaders, on behalf of the students in Ukraine who began the treacherous path to dignity and self-determination in Maidan, and on behalf of those same protesters who became the first to lose their lives under the European flag, the European student movement with a united voice calls on the leaders of the world to stop the descent to war. Ukraine must be allowed determine its own path, and the autonomous democratic self-determination of its people must not be interfered with in the name of brinkmanship and a supranational economic competition for influence and power.
To the leaders of Russia, we demand an immediate end to all interference in Ukraine. To the leaders of Europe and the wider international community, we demand the same.
We, the students of Europe, demand that Ukraine’s democratic development is under the control of Ukrainians, with the support – only upon request – of the entire international community. Let Ukraine decide its own fate.
1 March 2014