Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba participated in the "International Response to the Occupation of Crimea: Next Steps" event on the margins of the 27th OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting.
The event had more than 150 delegates, including the Foreign Ministers of Lithuania and Turkey, Deputy Foreign Ministers of the United States, Poland, and Georgia, representatives of the European External Action Service, Foreign Ministries of Austria, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Norway, Northern Macedonia, Portugal, France, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine informed the participants about the current situation in Crimea and drew their attention to the aggravation of problems caused by the temporary occupation - mass violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Russian occupation authorities, security threats due to militarization of the peninsula and adjacent waters, destruction of natural and cultural heritage.
Dmytro Kuleba presented to the OSCE participating States the Ukrainian initiative to establish the Crimean Platform, which aims to consolidate the efforts of the international community on Crimea.
The Minister listed five expected priorities for its work: “First, security, including freedom of navigation. Second, ensuring the efficiency of sanctions against the aggressor state. Third, the protection of human rights and international humanitarian law. Fourth, protection of educational, cultural and religious rights. Fifth, overcoming the negative impact of the temporary occupation of Crimea on the economy and the environment."
The Minister stressed that Ukraine would welcome the participation of the Heads of State and Government in the inaugural Summit of the Crimean Platform in Kyiv in 2021: “We can do a lot together. We need to ensure that our actions will be coordinated and that Crimea will be among the priority topics on the international agenda.”
Dmytro Kuleba also invited the partners to take joint steps within the OSCE to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Crimean Platform.
In their statements, the participants of the event expressed support to the Ukrainian initiative to establish the Crimean Platform, reaffirmed their countries' consistent position in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and noted the importance to ensure the practical dimension of the principled policy of the non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.
For reference: The Crimean Platform is a new consultative and coordination format initiated by Ukraine to increase the effectiveness of the international response to the ongoing occupation of Crimea, respond to growing security challenges, strengthen international pressure on the Kremlin, prevent further human rights violations, protect victims of the occupation regime. The Platform’s key objective is de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine.
The activities of the Platform are expected to be carried out at the following levels: heads of state and government; ministers of foreign affairs; parliaments; experts.
The activities of the Crimean Platform will be officially launched at the inaugural Summit, which is scheduled for 2021 in Kyiv.