Crimea Platform participants call on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine

It added that Crimea Platform participants remain committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.

“We reiterate our resolve to maintain pressure on Russia to end the temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol without delay to restore Ukraine’s control over its territory. We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion and its war of aggression against Ukraine, and notably its use of the temporarily occupied Crimean Peninsula and Ukrainian territorial waters for its war against Ukraine,” the statement read.

Crimea Platform participants strongly condemned Russia’s extensive use of military aircraft and warships for missile strikes and attacks affecting civilians and Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, the use of Crimea for aggression against and military invasion of southern Ukrainian regions. All perpetrators of war crimes should be brought to justice.

“We are deeply concerned about the increase in repressive measures by Russian occupying authorities, including abuses of human rights of the indigenous Crimean Tatars severely threatening their ability to fully enjoy their human rights, maintain and develop their culture, education and identity,” the statement said.

Crimea Platform participants said they were equally concerned with the aggressive imposition of education in the Russian language, of Russian curricula and education materials and with efforts to use the education system for the propaganda of service in the armed or auxiliary forces of the Russian Federation among children.

“We call on the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law, to immediately and unconditionally release Ukrainian prisoners unjustly detained in Crimea and the territory of Russia, including Nariman Dzhelyalov, the First Deputy Head of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people, and to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice of April 19, 2017 to refrain from maintaining the ban on the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and provide full and unimpeded access to Crimea for established regional and international monitoring mechanisms,” the statement said.

Crimea Platform participants condemned the continued practice of illegal conscription of Crimean residents into the Russian Armed Forces, their reported forced involvement in Russia’s offensive military actions against Ukraine, as well as Russia’s resettlement of its citizens to the Peninsula seeking to forcibly change the demographic composition of Crimea in a blatant attempt to deepen its occupation and control.

“We are also deeply concerned by numerous reports of forcible transfer by the Russian Federation of Ukrainian citizens, in particular civilians and prisoners of war, including Crimean Tatars, from the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine to Crimea and Russia,” the statement said.

It also deplored Russia’s seizure of the Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and in Kherson, which has impeded the lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms and maritime traffic in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, contributing to global food insecurity.

“We are further concerned about the massive transportation of heavy weapons and personnel through Crimea, which is aggravating the ecological consequences of Russia`s temporary occupation of Crimea since 2014. We recognize that the increasing militarization of the Peninsula by the Russian Federation continues to have a negative impact on the security situation in the Black Sea region,” the statement said.

In addition, the statement condemns Russia’s reported attempts to trade in stolen grain and metallurgy from Ukraine.

“Furthermore, we condemn Russia’s attempts to forcefully integrate parts of the Ukrainian territory currently under the control of invading Russian armed forces as a result of their illegal invasion. Any attempts to redraw Ukraine’s borders by force are a clear violation of international law, including the UN Charter and of Ukraine’s Constitution, they further undermine sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and will not be recognized,” the statement said.

The statement says that Crimea Platform participants stand firmly with the people of Ukraine as they bravely face Russia’s military aggression and express their determination to continue their support of Ukraine, including political, economic, humanitarian and/or security assistance.

“We express our determination to continue working together within the International Crimea Platform on ending the Russian Federation’s temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol for the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” the statement said.

In addition, the statement confirms the need to continue implementing the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and expresses the readiness to consider or to join further political diplomatic and restrictive measures towards the Russian Federation should its actions so require and in line with the respective procedures and legal jurisdiction of each Participant.

“We stand by Ukraine as it defends its territorial integrity and sovereignty against the Russian aggression. We invite other states and organizations to consider joining the International Crimea Platform,” the statement said.

Source: Crimea Platform participants call on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine

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