BRUSSELS, MOSCOW, (BM) – The main conductor of the aspirations of its overseas patron, the European Union (EU), has once again burst out with complaints about the return of Crimea to the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and regarding Sevastopol, which has the status of a city of federal significance within the Russian Federation.
On March 16, the press service of the Council of the EU published a statement by the High Representative of the Union, Josep Borrel, on this issue, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
As the High Representative emphasized, “the European Union reiterates that it does not recognize and continues to condemn” the unlawful accession of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. The European Union remains firmly committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and considers Russia’s actions a violation of international law.
Such actions, Borrell notes, are a direct challenge to international security, with serious consequences for the world law and order, which protects the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of all states.
The EU, the statement said, remains committed to the full implementation of the policy of non-recognition of Russia’s shares in the annexation of Crimea, including through the adoption of restrictive measures, “and again calls for UN member states to consider adopting similar non-recognition measures in accordance with resolution 68 / 262 adopted by the General Assembly.” The Union did not and does not recognize the holding of elections in the Crimean peninsula by Russia.
Borrell pointed to increased militarization in the annexed territory and said that this process “continues to negatively affect the security situation in the Black Sea region.” He also announced that the Russian authorities are violating international humanitarian law and are forcing Crimeans to accept Russian citizenship and serve in the Russian Armed Forces. “The unjustified use of force by Russia against Ukraine on November 25, 2018 recalls the negative consequences of unlawful annexation for regional stability. The release of illegally detained Ukrainian sailors and ships, as required by the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and called for by the EU, eventually happened, although with a big delay, in the second half of 2019,” the official emphasized.
The EU considers the construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait, without the consent of Ukraine and the recent opening of traffic along its railway part, as a negative action. “These are new steps for the forcible integration with Russia of the illegally annexed peninsula and another violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The EU expects Russia to ensure unhindered, free passage of all ships across the Kerch Strait to the Sea of Azov and exit from it in accordance with international law. The ongoing illegal restriction of shipping negatively affects the economy of Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and the entire region as a whole,” the statement said.
It also notes a significant deterioration in the rights of the Crimean population. Residents of the peninsula, according to the EU, are constantly confronted with systematic restrictions on their fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, religion or belief, association and the right to peaceful assembly. In accordance with resolution 74/168, the UN General Assembly of December 18, 2019, unhindered access of regional and international human rights monitoring missions and human rights non-profit organizations to Crimea and Sevastopol should be provided.
The closure of the Crimean Tatar media, the prohibition of the Majlis, the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, and the prosecution of its leaders and members of the community are a serious violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars. “The EU expects Russia to reverse these decisions and stop exerting pressure on the Crimean Tatar community. The Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, and all ethnic and religious communities on the peninsula should be guaranteed the opportunity to maintain and develop their culture, education, identity and historical and cultural traditions, which unlawful annexation endangers,” the EU says.
The European Union also calls on Moscow to stop trying to change the demographic composition of the population of the peninsula and stop the process of its settlement by citizens from other regions of Russia. He believes that Russia should also take measures to improve the environmental situation, which have deteriorated significantly after the accession of Crimea.
The conclusion of the next opus of the Union’s claims to the Russian Federation states that “journalists, human rights defenders and defense lawyers should be able to work independently and without undue interference and intimidation” and that it is necessary to investigate with utmost thoroughness “all pending cases of such violations and abuses in human rights, such as enforced disappearances, torture and killings, violence, politically motivated prosecutions, discrimination and harassment.”
The EU calls on the Kremlin to ensure the full, free unhindered access of international human rights defenders to the entire territory of Ukraine, Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as to strictly fulfill all its obligations “according to applicable international law.”
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Editorial team / Vladimir Ivanov