On this mournful day, on behalf of Ukraine, the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Poland, we express our deepest condolences to the Crimean Tatar people. We share your pain and honor the memory of the innocent victims of the genocide committed in 1944.
May 18 is one of the most tragic dates of the last century. The deportation of tens of thousands Crimean Tatars by Stalin’s regime put these people on the brink of total annihilation. Many of those deported have died, all were prohibited to return to their homeland – Crimea, all were also subject to the attempts of forceful assimilation into a ‘new Soviet society’. Fortunately – they resisted.
Kyiv, Vilnius and Warsaw will make every effort to disseminate historical facts and ensure their proper international assessment at the present stage.
Unfortunately, seven decades after this horrific crime, our generation eye-witnesses recurrence of the events of the past.
Russia's temporary occupation of Crimea has led to new repressions against the Crimean Tatar people who once again face human rights violations, persecution for beliefs, religion and for disagreement with the occupation of Ukrainian Crimea, ban on the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, and various forms of harassment and discrimination. These actions of Russia as an occupying power are unacceptable in today’s world and require an adequate response from the international community.
The most effective response will be the de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula. The governments of our states, together with our partners, will continue to work towards restoring respect for international law and Ukraine's sovereign control over Crimea. Undoubtedly, our asset in this struggle is solidarity with the Crimean Tatars and the unity of the whole world around our common goal.
The summit of the international Crimea Platform, which shall take place in Kyiv on August 23, 2021, is called to play an important role in consolidating our efforts. We are looking forward to working out a clear plan of action of the world community to bring closer the de-occupation of Ukrainian Crimea and restoration of the rights of Crimean Tatars.
We are confident that our joint efforts and international solidarity will contribute to the liberation of Crimea from the Russian occupation, as well as to the restoration of rights and freedoms of the Crimean Tatar people in Ukrainian Crimea.
May 18, 2021