Ukraine: Crimean platform will unite all forces for de-occupation of the peninsula

Crimea: six years later. Ways and mechanisms of peninsula deoccupation. UCMC 20.02.2020

US Undersecretary of State Stephen Bigan called Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea the most flagrant violation of sovereignty in the OSCE region

The Crimean Platform project will unite all forces willing to work on the de-occupation of Crimea, regardless of their official status. This was discussed at a meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba with the leaders and representatives of the Crimean Tatar community in Ankara during his working visit to Turkey.

“The Crimean Platform will have several levels. There will be a level of representatives of governments, parliaments, the expert environment and there will be a level of public diplomacy, since the goal of the Crimean platform is to unite all forces, regardless of their official status, that are ready to work on the de-occupation of Crimea. It is critical for us to have a very successful platform launch. Therefore, we are carefully approaching the platform inauguration summit and we will be grateful for your support for Turkey’s active and deep participation in this platform, ”the Ukrinform news agency quoted Kuleba as saying..

According to the resource Crimea.Realities, The Turkish Foreign Ministry, following a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, reported that they welcomed the platform’s initiative to de-occupy Crimea.

“We had a friendly meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba. We will continue to strengthen our relationship, especially in the areas of military cooperation and the defense industry. We welcome the initiative of the Crimean Platform, “the message says..

According to the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, during the two-day online meeting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Council, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba presented the “Crimean Platform”.

The Ukrainian minister drew the attention of those present to the problem of the ongoing militarization by Russia of the temporarily occupied Crimea and the Black Sea-Azov region, the message says..

Stephen Bigan on violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty

Support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine was announced at a plenary session of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers by the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Bigan.

Bigan called Russia’s ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea as the most flagrant violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity in the OSCE region..

“Since 2014, as a result of the conflict, more than thirteen thousand citizens of Ukraine have died and more than a million people have fled their homes. Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians and other opponents of the occupation are being severely repressed. Ukraine must remain at the center of our agenda. It is unacceptable for the Special Monitoring Mission to be harassed and restrained on a daily basis, mainly in Russian-controlled areas, ”the US Undersecretary of State said..

Bigan stressed that the United States is calling on Russia to fulfill the obligations that it has assumed under the Minsk agreements..

We will never recognize Russia’s claims to Crimea, – the American diplomat recalled.

Crimean platform in the Verkhovna Rada

Member of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction Elizaveta Yasko On December 3, I announced on Facebook on December 3 about the work and creation of the interfactional association “Crimean Platform”.

“Among the immediate plans is to hold committee hearings on the foreign policy aspects of the de-occupation of Crimea. Parliament should take an active position in this process, and my subcommittee can become a coordination and information center for promoting the Ukrainian vision of de-occupation in inter-parliamentary organizations and through friendship groups, “Yasko wrote on Facebook.

Crimea in a new geopolitical reality

International political scientist Anton Kuchukhidze believes that the issue of de-occupation of Crimea can be considered through the prism of the formation of a new geopolitical reality in the Black Sea region and the strengthening of the role of Turkey.

“Turkey is interested in being one of the pillars of the new geopolitical alliance. She would like to change the balance of power in the Black Sea, because after the occupation of Crimea, the balance of power has shifted against Turkey. Yes, NATO’s presence in the Black Sea is greater now, but the Kremlin has greatly strengthened in Crimea, which has now been turned into one large military base. This does not suit Ankara, “Kuchukhidze said in a conversation with a correspondent for the Russian service of the Voice of America..

Ukrainian policy aimed at the liberation of Crimea, he said, is in trend today in Turkey and a number of European countries, in particular, Great Britain and Poland..

“Turkey alone will not be able to weaken Russia in the region; it needs allies, such as Ukraine; Great Britain has broad interests in the Black Sea region – perhaps this geopolitical alliance is not very final …. Poland, Turkey and Great Britain have a number of claims against Germany and France, which are united by the eternal bargaining with Russia and the sluggish representation of Europe’s foreign policy interests on the Black Sea ” , – the expert notes.

The Ukrainian initiative on Crimea, the formation of the Crimean platform, according to him, was positively assessed by the parties during the visit of Volodymyr Zelensky to the UK and Turkey.

Turkey’s interests

Director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies “OPAD” named after Alexander Nikonorov Sergey Parkhomenko believes that Turkey demonstrates support for Ukraine, however, on the issue of Crimea, “focuses more on national values”.

“Turkey supports the position on the de-occupation of Crimea, but so far these are declarative statements. There are no guarantees that the return of Crimea will be consistently defended by the current leadership of Turkey. The leader who runs Turkey has a specific attitude towards Western values. Given the current situation in the region, there is a possibility that support for Ukraine’s position will not be as consistent as we would like, “Parkhomenko told the Voice of America correspondent..

The analyst believes that the Crimean Platform project will reset the agenda of relations on the de-occupation of Crimea. In addition, “perhaps this platform will help to partially end the persecution of Crimeans with pro-Ukrainian views and return some of the Kremlin prisoners persecuted on the peninsula,” stresses Parkhomenko.

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