CRIMEA IS UKRAINE

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Mohammad Ali

On February 20, 2014, the Russian Federation violated the norms of international law, the UN Charter and the constitutional principles of the territorial integrity of Ukraine while occupied the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which was an integral part of Ukraine.

As the permanent member of the UN Security Council Russia voted against the adoption of the resolution “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine” in 2014, demonstrating non-compliance with support for international peace and security.

Since that time the international community considers Russia as an aggressor country. A number of resolutions condemning the attempted annexation, militarization and human rights violations in the occupied Crimea, thus increasing international pressure on the Kremlin.

However, ignoring the international sanctions, Russia has built the Crimean Bridge, expropriated the property of the Ukrainian citizens and companies. Russia blocks free shipping in the Black and Azov Seas.

Russia continues its policy of not allowing representatives of monitoring missions of international organizations to visit the territory of the annexed peninsula, thus trying to hide its violations of human rights, deployment of carriers of the nuclear weapons, etc.

Consistent international policy of de-occupation of Crimea is a crucial instrument to resist Russian destructive policy that violates international law, democratic values and basic human rights worldwide.

As a measure to restore territorial integrity of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Government introduced a new consultation and coordination format – the Crimea Platform which is aimed at elaboration of practical approaches to achieve de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine.

The Crimea Platform is a flexible international format to provide long-term vision of de-occupation of Crimea, consolidation of international efforts and synergy of intergovernmental, parliamentary and expert levels.

The Crimea Platform summit organized in Kyiv on August 23, 2021. Representatives of 46 states, NATO, the EU, the Council of Europe and GUAM, took part at this Forum and signed a Joint declaration. The signatories officially agreed to claim Russia as an occupying power, support the policy of non-recognition of Crimea as Russian, and to increase pressure on Russia until the latter returns the occupied peninsula to Ukraine.

In this way, the Ukrainian authorities effectively and legally established a policy of collective effort against violating countries.

Moreover, during the summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited Russia to join the Crimea Platform “to correct a historical mistake” and “jointly work out ways to de-occupy Crimea.” Instead, Russian diplomacy and special services tried to disrupt the summit by all means, first, by strengthening the informational influence on the masses.

On the eve of the constituent summit, Russia filed a number of fake lawsuits against Ukraine in international courts in order to confuse and discredit the system of international justice. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry continues to threaten the countries that have joined and in the future may join the Ukrainian initiative “Crimea Platform”.

At the same time, the work of the Crimean Platform is just beginning and will be aimed at strengthening the international policy of non-recognition of the attempt to annex Crimea;

application of restrictive measures (sanctions);

counteracting human rights violations;

ensuring safety and freedom of navigation;

overcoming the economic and environmental consequences of the occupation.

Ukraine will make every effort to keep the issue of illegal annexation of Crimea on the international agenda. It will remain a priority of all international and bilateral negotiations.

In particular, the priority of the talks between the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the President of the United States J. Biden on September 2, 2021, was again security issue – the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbass and Crimea, as well as in the basin of Black and Azov Seas.

The visit of the Ukrainian delegation to the United States resulted in the signing-up several important agreements in the sphere of defense, finance and investment.

Unprecedented US support for Ukraine, including the defense sphere, drives away typical Russian management. Previously, the partners’ support ended with statements by officials, and now Ukraine has signed the agreements that specifically emphasize Washington’s support for official Kyiv.

Of course, this irritates the Kremlin, which considers this kind of cooperation as unfriendly action by the United States against Russia.

Moreover, after President Zelenskyy’s visit to the United States, the Kremlin launched a new active disinformation campaign to discredit both the visit of the Ukrainian delegation and the signed up agreements.

However, the information campaign, launched by the Russian secret services against the background of the meeting between Biden and Zelenskyy clearly demonstrates the insignificance and fear of the Kremlin of the success of collective measures against Russian aggression and foreign policy of Ukraine in general.

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