UWC welcomes the initial Crimean Platform Summit in Kyiv
On the eve of the official start of the Crimean Platform Summit in Kyiv on August 23, 2021, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) pledges its support to this important initiative of the Ukrainian government, aimed at de-occupation of the Crimean Peninsula. Together with the multi-million strong Ukrainian diaspora the UWC would also like to once again state and declare our absolute non-recognition of the occupation of the Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol, conducted by the Russian Federation in February-March 2014.
7 years ago, Russia invaded, occupied and illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula through a staged referendum at gunpoint, which has been unanimously condemned as illegal and illegitimate by the European Union and every democracy around the world.
During the years of occupation, Russia has heavily militarized the peninsula, turning into one of the largest military bases in Eastern Europe, posing threat to the security of the entire Black Sea region, as well as to the Middle East and to Northern Africa. The occupiers are also conducting a barbaric, ruthless exploitation of the natural resources of Crimea, which has already led to a permanent catastrophic shortage of fresh water and causes severe damage to the peninsula’s economy.
Finally, Moscow has transformed Crimea into a zone of terror by conducting gross violations of human rights and by using various oppression tools to persecute members of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian communities on the grounds of nationality and religion. With regard to the Ukrainian ethnic community in the Crimea, Russia is conducting the policy of ethnocide, aimed at assimilating Ukrainians and eradicating their national identity.
From the first days of the occupation, the UWC has held numerous global advocacy campaigns and has consistently called to increase international pressure on Russia to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, to stop terrible human rights violations in the peninsula and demanded the release of political prisoners.
“The UWC strongly supports the Ukrainian government’s efforts to de-occupy Crimea and welcomes the Crimean Platform initiative. We call upon the international community to condemn Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and its brutal policy towards its Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar population. We also call upon all democratic governments and parliaments to increase sanctions against Russia and its officials, responsible for human rights violations, and to officially declare non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea. The rules-based international community should not tolerate Russia’s blatant breach of international law and there can be no compromise with the aggressor prior to the de-occupation of Crimea and the Donbas,” stated Paul Grod, UWC President.
On Monday, August 23, Paul Grod will deliver a speech and will participate in a discussion panel at the Crimean Platform Summit in Kyiv, representing the UWC and the global Ukrainian diaspora.