After the 2014 coup d’état in Kyiv, new militaristic authorities posed direct threat to life and health of the Ukrainian citizens which pushed Crimean inhabitants to hold a referendum. The referendum was held in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution. Article 138 of Ukrainian Constitution directly gives the Autonomous Republic of Crimea the right to hold referendums. Furthermore, the principle of self-determination is endorsed in the Article 1 of the UN Charter. A big number of international acts and precedents prove that the population of Crimea had full moral and judicial right to pose the question and to make a decision.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the referendum in Crimea. In fact, the 2014 Crimea referendum contradicted Ukrainian Constitution. On March 14, 2014 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared unconstitutional The Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea No. 1702-6/14 “On holding of the all-Crimean referendum” dated March 6, 2014.
The Judgement of the court says the following: "Any changes to the territory of Ukraine shall be resolved exclusively by the all-Ukrainian referendum (Article 73 of the Constitution of Ukraine). Authority to call the all-Ukrainian referendum on issues indicated in said Article of the Constitution of Ukraine belongs to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (paragraph 2 of part 1 of Article 85 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine)".
As for the Article 138 of the Constitution of Ukraine, its interpretation in the Court's judgement is the following: "According to the Constitution of Ukraine it is under the authority of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to organize and hold of local referendums (paragraph 2 of Article 138) in the manner determined by the law of Ukraine (paragraph 20 of par one of Article 92). Regulatory legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall not contradict the Constitution and laws of Ukraine and shall be adopted in accordance with and in pursuance of the Constitution of Ukraine, laws of Ukraine, acts of the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (part 2 of Article 135 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine)."
No evidence has been presented that the post-Yanukovych authorities posed a direct threat to lives and health of the Crimean peninsula inhabitants as alleged.
The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.