UN: Human rights committee adopts resolution condemning Russian presence in Crimea
The document has been updated for the fifth time, it expresses the consolidated position of the international community and pressure on Russia, they say in Kiev
KYIV – The fifth update of the resolution on Crimea by the Third Committee of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly clearly demonstrates the condemnation of the occupation of the peninsula by the world community, and also confirms the urgent need for access by international organizations on the peninsula.
This is stated in the commentary of the Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Alexey Reznikov to the decision, which was supported on November 18 during the meeting of the Third Committee at the session of the UN General Assembly.
“I hope that after the resolution was approved by the UN General Assembly in December, thanks to the consolidated position of the international community and pressure on the Russian Federation, Russia will fulfill all the points and, finally, liberate the occupied Ukrainian territories. I am especially grateful for the special attention to the problems of the Crimean Tatar people. In particular, a call for the cancellation of all illegal decisions concerning the prohibition of the Mejlis, the end of the persecution and discrimination of the Crimean Tatars, ”said Aleksey Reznikov, according to the website of the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories.
The draft updated and strengthened resolution “The human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” was called by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine “an important contribution to the continuation of international pressure on the Russian Federation in connection with the illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.”.
“The document was prepared on the basis of the last two reports of the UN Secretary General, submitted at the request of the General Assembly, which documented numerous facts of massive violations of human rights in the occupied territories,” – said in a statement on the website of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine.
As reported by the Russian edition of Radio Liberty, the speaker of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova called the adopted draft resolution “politically biased”.
“As in previous years, this resolution is politically biased and has nothing to do with the real situation on the peninsula. Ukraine once again used the UN platform to replicate its unfounded political and territorial claims to Crimea, ”Zakharova said during a briefing on Thursday.
Crimea is Ukraine
In a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “Crimea is Ukraine,” published by the United States Embassy on Facebook on February 27, 2020, Russia is called upon to end its occupation of the peninsula..
“The occupation of Crimea by Russia and the increased militarization of the peninsula is a threat to our common security. The Russian occupation authorities continue to attack human rights and fundamental freedoms, brutally suppressing criticism in civil society and the media, and limiting religious freedom. Russia has concluded more than eighty people from Crimea, including representatives of the Crimean Tatar community, some were even tortured, for peacefully resisting the occupation, “the statement says..
Mike Pompeo’s Crimean Declaration notes that “with its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and its attempted annexation of Crimea, Russia sought to undermine the basic international principle shared by democracies: no country can change the borders of another country by force.”.
International organizations recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have introduced economic sanctions. Russia denies the annexation of the peninsula and calls it “the restoration of historical justice.” The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially announced the date of the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia on February 20, 2014.
Not only Crimea
A statement by the spokesman for the European External Action Service on November 19 notes that “the European Union continues to strongly support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”.
“On November 4, 2020, President Putin signed a decree that simplifies the recognition by the Russian Federation of documents and vehicle registration plates issued to citizens and persons permanently living in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. This is another attempt by Russia to undermine the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, ”the press statement says..
The EU expects that “Russia will refrain from actions that contradict the Minsk agreements and impede the full reintegration of non-government-controlled areas into Ukraine.”.
Opinion of human rights defenders
Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group Olga Skripnik notes that the updated draft resolution on Crimea took into account the proposals of human rights defenders.
“In the draft resolution, Crimea sounded in another aspect – Russia does not fulfill the requirements of the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Population during Epidemics and Pandemic. We have enough evidence that Russia is not taking any measures and, moreover, creates risks for the infection of COVID-19 on the peninsula. This important point was not only sounded, but also recorded, “Olga Skripnik says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
The Ukrainian initiative for the de-occupation of Crimea – the “Crimean platform”, according to her, was launched this year and allows you to create a negotiating platform not only on the protection of human rights on the territory of the peninsula.
“The Crimean Platform initiative will make it possible to raise the issues of Crimea not only in the field of human rights, security, but also ecology and cultural heritage. This format will make it possible to keep the “Crimean topic” on the agenda, and what is especially important, in conditions when Russia is trying to impose a model – by means of a truce in the Donbass, so that the issues of Crimea are not raised, ”emphasizes Olga Skripnik.
She notes that the “Crimean theme” remains in the priorities of the work of the Ukrainian authorities and in the focus of attention of the European Union and the United States..
“I would like the sanctions to be expanded next year on countering the militarization of the occupied peninsula, the militarization of children, and the appropriation of the cultural heritage of Ukraine on the territory of Crimea. These issues are on the agenda of the “Crimean platform”, and they should be brought up for international discussion, “Olga Skripnik believes..
On the precedent and legal framework for de-occupation
Director of the Center for Public Research “Ukrainian Meridian” Dmitry Levus notes that the West has formed a stable pro-Ukrainian position on the “Crimean problem”.
“Russia’s reaction to the vote on the draft resolution speaks of the impact of international acts on Moscow’s position. This forms a negative image of Moscow and creates a precedent and legal basis for the return of the annexed territories, “Dmitry Levus says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
International support, he said, will allow Ukraine to more actively use the created “Crimean platform” for the return of the peninsula annexed by Russia..
“The initiative of Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the” Crimean platform “was presented in September at the UN, it institutionally strengthens the Ukrainian position in the negotiations on Crimea, allows the involvement of Ukrainian and international institutions at the ministerial level, conduct bilateral negotiations, summits summits,” says Dmitry Levus.
Efforts are insufficient
Political scientist Natalia Belous believes that the Ukrainian government is not making significant efforts of a strategic and systemic nature to return Crimea and establish a lasting peace in Donbass.
“It is also difficult to say that it will be possible to defend the interests of the Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea. Probably, the international community pays more attention to the Ukrainian realities than our statesmen. The Ukrainian authorities are now more concerned with the coronavirus and its consequences for the economy than with the development of Ukrainian culture and the situation with the Crimean Tatars and other national minorities, ”Natalia Belous says to the Voice of America correspondent..
According to her, civil rights and freedoms in the country are violated not only in the occupied territory..
“Ukraine is forced to present itself as a bureaucratic state in which neither ordinary citizens, nor journalists, public figures feel safe. The ratings of international organizations often define Ukraine in the category of “partially” free countries, ”emphasizes Natalia Belorus.