10:33 26 Feb 2021

Ukraine calls on the world to join "Crimean platform" for de-occupation of Crimea and increase sanctions on Russia

On the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes Ukraine continues to work on the de-occupation of the peninsula and bringing the occupying country, Russia, to justice, in particular by creating a "Crimean platform."

It is stated in the comment of the Foreign Ministry on the occasion of the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea.

"Ukraine continues to consolidate its international efforts to achieve the complete de-occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol and hold Russia accountable for its crimes. To this end, Ukraine is creating a Crimean Platform, a new international coordination format, and calls on all partners to join it. Together we restore justice and stability. Crimea is Ukraine."

The Foreign Ministry stressed Russia had seized Crimea by armed aggression and attempted its illegal annexation, referring to an illegal and rigged referendum: "It has grossly violated basic principles of international law and undermined the security system in Europe and the world."

"Since the beginning of the occupation, Russia has pursued a criminal policy of colonization and assimilation of the peninsula. It is done with systemic human rights violations, brutal repression against all those who have the courage to resist the occupation. The national, cultural, religious rights of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are being limited; the Orthodox Church is being persecuted. Freedom of speech is being suppressed, independent media have been destroyed," the Foreign Ministry said.

The Ukrainian ministry adds that the occupation authorities are purposefully persecuting Crimean Tatars, the indigenous people of the peninsula who don't accept the occupation.

"Russia is trying to criminalize all dissidents, illegally detaining them and convicting them on falsified charges of "terrorism" and "extremism." Back in 2016, Russia banned the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (the representative body of the Crimean Tatar people), and all its members were outlawed. Despite the decision of the UN International Court of Justice in 2017, the Majlis remains banned," the comment reads.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine adds Russia is also carrying out enhanced militarization of Crimea:

"The peninsula which before the occupation was known as a resort area of Ukraine has been turned into a Russian military base, which poses a threat not only to Ukraine but also to other countries in the region, including NATO and the EU."

Ukraine is grateful to its allies and partners for their consistent and effective support in the struggle to restore territorial integrity.

"The international community must increase political and sanctions pressure on Russia to persuade it to liberate the occupied Ukrainian territories, release captives and political prisoners, and enforce international court decisions," the Foreign Ministry said.

On February 26, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. On this day in Simferopol, a mass rally organized by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people took place in front of the Crimean parliament building against the intentions to separate Crimea from Ukraine. Since then, February 26 has become a symbol of resistance to Ukraine's occupation, which has lasted for seven years.


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