The Crimea issue will not disappear from the international agenda for another 7 years, – Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Photo: OP

The issue of the occupied Crimea will not disappear from the international agenda for another 7 years.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this during the summit of the Crimea Platform, UA reports.

“7 years ago, in the center of Europe, in my country, the Russian Federation annexed and occupied part of our territory, the Crimean Peninsula. Its area is 27,000 square kilometers. This is more than some European countries, more than some countries in the world. Our territory was annexed by one of the states-guarantors of Ukraine’s security in accordance with the Budapest Memorandum, one of the member states of the UN Security Council” – said the President.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, Moscow has tripled its military presence on the Ukrainian peninsula.

“Being a world famous resort, Crimea has turned into a military base, has become a springboard for further expansion of Russia’s influence in the Black Sea region. Crimea has turned into a territory where human rights and freedoms are systematically violated. Without ensuring adequate security in the Black Sea, we are unlikely to successfully return Crimea” – Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

In addition, according to him, the occupation of Crimea casts doubts on the effectiveness of the whole international security system, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders.

“Political persecution, enforced disappearances, illegal detention of more than 100 political prisoners, torture, suppression of freedom of the media, religion, expropriation of property, forced demographic changes, illegal conscription of Ukrainian citizens into the Russian army on the temporarily occupied peninsula, propaganda of war among children in schools – unfortunately, those are the sad realities of the occupied Ukrainian Crimea” – stated the head of state.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that Ukraine will do everything possible to return Crimea.

“We are not holding this summit for the sake of the summit. Crimea should not disappear from the agenda for another 7 years. Therefore, today we should focus on resolving specific problems – strengthening sanctions, protecting human rights, overcoming the environmental and economic consequences of occupation, ensuring freedom of navigation in the Black and Azov Seas” – the head of state said.

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