States demand rights
The nations incorporated by force into the Soviet Union must he guaranteed the right to decide their own political futures on the basis of complete sovereignty and national independence, says the Association of Ukranians in Great Britain in a statement on the 'Helsinki summit.
In the statement the association says: The Russians, the main participants from Eastern Europe, did not allow any of the nations incorporated in -their present empire to send delegates.
Among the notable absentees were Latvia. Estonia and Lithuania, all three forcibly annexed into the Soviet Union as a result of military occupation during and after the Second World War. it was announced by Moscow that all three of these Baltic States "asked" to be represented by the Russian delegation at the talks.
Incredibly, two European member States of the United Nations — the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR, who between them have a population of 57 million and who have been sending fully accredited and recognised ambassadors and diplomats to the United Nations General Assembly since the inception of that body in 1945 — were also forbidden by Russia to send their own delegations to Helsinki.
Since the major conflicts on the Eastern Front in the Second World War took part in these countries, the conference and the United Nations should make sure that steps are taken to consult the people of Ukraine and Byelorussia about what concerns them most — the political and territorial alterations that resulted from the 1939-45 conflict in Eastern Europe and the Russian occupation of these States.
The Western States must demand that any decisions on boundaries and political sovereignty' can only be made when the Universal Declaration or human Rights as well as the United Nations Covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are implemented and observed by the Russians, within the political structure of the USSR as well as in their colonial satellites.
British, French, Norwegian. Austrian and other Western nations must not ignore the indisputable fact that, they have taken part in amicable discussions with a counterpart who condones the use of such repressive measures as the imprisonment of political critics and dissidents in concentration camps, psychiatric institutions and labour colonies.
The most notable of these at present is the historian Valentyn Moroz, whom the authorities threatened, virtually on the eve of this conference with transference to a psychiatric hospital from Vladimir prison where he is at present serving his sentence.
Other equally well known figures are Dr Leonid Pliusch, the journalists Sviatoslav Karavansky and Vyacheslav Chornovil, and Roman Shukhevych, who was imprisoned at the age of 14 because of his father General Taras Chnorynka-Shukhevych led the war for liberation in Ukraine in the years 1939 to 1950.
Perhaps the most alarming point about this situation is the realisation or the fact that the representatives of peoples whose political ideology and philosophy extols the virtues of denrcracy, have conferred in talks about the preservation and international recognition of a system which ultimately relies on the presence, force and numbers of the Red Army for its existence, and which has not once stood the test of free elections.
The Western delegates were asked to recognise and affirm the right of the Russians not only to deal with their own multi-national internal problems within their empire as repressively as they wish, but also that the Russians have an international right of some sort to interfere in the internal affairs of countries like Caechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany and Rumania.
It is our conviction that no lasting stability can be achieved in Europe without the cooperation of the East European nations as free and equal partners with the West. Such co-operation is impossible as long us these nations remain subject to the domination of Russia