#CrimeaisUkraine: path towards de-occupation
On June 18 the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), jointly with the Mission of Ukraine to EU, organized the online discussion: “Occupied #Crimea: the path towards de-occupation”, moderated by Orysia Lutsevych, Research Fellow and Manager, Ukraine Forum, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. The discussion, symbolically, took place on the day when the European Council extended sanctions against Russia until June 2021.
In her opening remarks, Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, highlighted that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is not only about human rights violations, it is also about security and defence issues. The sanctions are an explicit and well-defined instrument for de-occupation of Crimea and must be further reinforced.
UWC President Paul Grod spoke about the role of civil society in developing the roadmap to de-occupy Crimea, as well as its role in informing the global audiences about the reasons why the sanctions against Russia have been imposed and must be strengthened and maintained. He emphasized the partnerships UWC builds worldwide, working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Crimean Tatar community, Eastern European nations, international organizations and governments globally, to spread the message about the realities of human rights violations in the occupied Crimea via effective public diplomacy campaigns. He also stressed that a clear strategy and an international coalition of support, synergies of government and civil society are key to building the roadmap to de-occupation of Crimea.
Anton Korynevych, Permanent Representative of President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Oleksii Makeiev, Special Envoy for Sanction Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Andrii Klimenko, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online Black Sea News portal, Head of the joint Monitoring Group with the Black Sea Institute of Strategy also took part in this important discussion. The panellists highlighted ongoing violations of international law and human rights in the occupied peninsula and discussed relaunching the multidimensional international dialogue platform dedicated to Crimea.
“Both the government and civil society ought to speak clearly and unequivocally: occupation of Crimea is a Russian violation of international law, ongoing Russia’s military aggression against a sovereign state. Jointly, we emphasize to the world leaders, in particular, in Europe, the need to continue to isolate Russia until it de-occupies Crimea and Ukrainian Donbas. As civil society, we must never let the world forget that Crimea is Ukraine. We must never allow Crimea to be a bargaining chip, – stated UWC President Paul Grod. – I firmly believe that truth and justice will prevail, and Crimea will once again be a part of Ukraine”.