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Foreign Ministry Hosts Discussion on Ukraine’s State Policy to Deoccupy Crimea
03 March 2021 19:28

On March 3, 2021, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a panel discussion "Ukrainian State Policy on the De-occupation of Crimea: Current Status and Future" to mark the Day of Resistance to Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. 

The event featured:

  • Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; 
  • Anton Korynevych, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; 
  • Ihor Yaremenko, Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine; 
  • Rustem Umerov, Member of Parliament, Co-chair of the Inter-faction Union Crimean Platform; 
  • Ihor Ponochovnyi, Head of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol;
  • Refat Chubarov, Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People;
  • Maria Tomak, Media Initiative Coordinator for Human Rights;
  • Alim Aliev, Deputy Director-General of the Ukrainian Institute. 

Representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Ukraine also joined the discussion.

The Crimea Platform and the challenges Ukraine faces together with the rest of the world due to Russia’s aggression and temporary occupation of the Ukrainian territory were the central topics of the discussion.

“Ukraine launches the Crimea Platform to achieve strategic dialogue at the international level. This will help consolidate the ambitions and resources of the international community, as well as unite efforts at the intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary, and expert levels," the First Deputy Minister said. 

Emine Dzhaparova stressed that the Crimea Platform was going to focus on 5 practical aspects: non-recognition of Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea; strengthening of international sanctions against Russia; international security; human rights; the impact of the occupation on the economy and environment.

The First Deputy Minister pointed out the importance of cooperation with international partners and mentioned that it would facilitate a quicker de-occupation of Crimea. "It should be understood that the de-occupation of Crimea is not only a matter of restoring justice but one of the key factors of restoring the stability of the world order and the protection of humanity-founding values". 

Anton Korynevych, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, stressed that the Presidential Decree "On Certain Measures Aimed at the Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Crimean Peninsula and the City of Sevastopol" of February 26, 2021, was a powerful signal to our international partners proving that deoccupation of Crimea is one of the top priorities of Ukrainian domestic policy. By issuing the Decree, the President established an Organizing Committee of the Crimea Platform Summit that will prepare a draft Strategy for the Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol as well as the Strategy for the Crimean Tatar Language Development.

Refat Chubarov, Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, supported the idea of the Crimea Platform as a framework for the implementation of specific steps and mechanisms to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine.  

"The adoption of relevant legislation should precede the deoccupation to provide a clear image of Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine and to ensure the preservation and support of its indigenous Crimean Tatar people," said the Head of the Mejlis.

MP Rustem Umerov briefed the participants on the legislative activity of Ukraine focusing on overcoming the consequences of the occupation and mentioned that the Crimea Platform is a multi-component mechanism for restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Among a wide range of its tasks, the MP pointed out searching for international support, ensuring the security of the Black Sea region, protecting human rights and the rights of the Crimean Tatars in particular.   

Maria Tomak, Media Initiative Coordinator for Human Rights, stressed the importance of public sector involvement in the development of state policy on de-occupation. She mentioned that Russia influences the perception of Crimean problems around the world using disinformation. For this reason, it is important to cooperate with the people, experts, scientists, media, to involve them in joint projects within the Crimea Platform, and this is a task primarily for the Ukrainian non-governmental sector.

Ihor Yaremenko, Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, offered his opinion on our country’s efforts to reintegrate the temporarily occupied territories. Mr. Yaremenko said that Ukraine’s task is to create more ties with Crimea, which Russia breaks, to strengthen those already existing. This requires a coordinated strategy to ensure the authorities could control all the necessary actions.

According to Igor Ponochovnyi, Head of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, the Prosecutor's Office implements one of the important elements of justice during the transitional period to ensure the principle of inevitability of punishment for crimes committed on the temporarily occupied peninsula. 

Igor Ponochovnyi stressed that it is essential to establish international legal cooperation in the investigation of criminal proceedings for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of the order of entry to and departure from the temporarily occupied territory of the peninsula. "This will also help counteract Russia's attempts to legitimize the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula", said he.

Alim Aliev, Deputy Director-General of the Ukrainian Institute, spoke about Crimea that remains the focus of the Ukrainian Institute: "We aim to raise awareness of the temporarily occupied Crimea and strengthen the voices of those who relentlessly defend the Ukrainian peninsula no matter where they are - in Crimea, in mainland Ukraine or even abroad. We conduct such activities through our cultural diplomacy projects: we prepare artistic, public, and information campaigns. These are projects that will strengthen the Crimea Platform ".

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