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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 19.04.2019, 05:53

Estonian MFA: Crimea is part of Ukraine

BC, Tallinn, 16.03.2018.Print version
Crimea continues to be a part of Ukraine, Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser emphasized on the fourth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea on Friday, informs LETA/BNS.

According to Mikser, the Russian Federation on March 16 four years ago carried out a spectacle depicting a referendum on the territory of Ukraine, which was followed on March 18 by Crimea's illegal addition to Russia. "We condemn the illegal annexation carried out by the Russian Federation four years ago, which ignored the Ukrainian Constitution, the will of the Ukrainian people and the internationally agreed rules. Crimea is and will be a part of Ukraine," the minister said.

He said that Estonia condemns the serious violations of international law committed by Russia as the occupying force also after the annexation: local residents are forcefully recruited to the armed forces, forced to assume Russian citizenship, their property is dispossessed, their freedom of speech and religion is restricted. Over the four years, the situation of local residents on the peninsula has worsened, approximately 40,000 residents have left the region due to both psychological and physical terror.

"Occupying forces consistently violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, Ukrainian citizens are detained, there have been news of torture and mistreatment, the situation of the indigenous Crimean Tatars is especially bad. Due to the annexation, it has become more difficult to maintain the contact we have had so far with the Estonians living in Crimea," the foreign minister said.

According to Mikser, Russia is continuing the economic and political integration of Crimea. In addition, steps are being taken to militarize the peninsula, which puts the security of the entire Black Sea region at risk. The minister said that Estonia condemns the construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge, which is being done without Ukraine's consent and which in addition to damaging security will also start restricting the access of cargo vessels to Ukrainian port towns.

The minister said that the violation of international law must have consequences. He added that Estonia continues to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. "We will continue to raise the situation in Crimea on the international arena. We strongly support continuing the policy of not accepting the annexation of Crimea, including continuing and modernizing sanctions and stand for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned. It is extremely important that international organizations are ensured access to Crimea," Mikser said.

The minister said that Estonia condemns the organization of elections in Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and does not recognize the results of those elections.  

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