NATO urges Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine

2019/03/bneGeneric-Ukraine-Nato-flags-1552914560.jpg
Read: 407     17:15     18 March 2019    

In connection with the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, the North Atlantic Council of NATO has issued a statement in which it called on the Russian Federation to return Crimea to Ukraine.


"Five years ago Russia used force against Ukraine to illegally and illegitimately annex Crimea. This violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is a serious breach of international law and a major challenge of Euro-Atlantic security. We strongly condemn this act, which we do not and will not recognise. We call on Russia to return control of Crimea to Ukraine," the Alliance's headquarters posted its statement on Monday.

In this regard, the Allies reaffirmed the full support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters. "Crimea is the territory of Ukraine," it says.

The Allies also expressed deep concern about human rights violations committed in the illegally annexed Crimea against Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and representatives of other local communities. "These violations include extrajudicial killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, violence, arbitrary detentions, arrest, and torture. Despite the 2017 Order of the International Court of Justice, the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, remains under persecution and is banned in its homeland," it says.

In this regard, the Allies called on the Russian Federation to immediately put an end to all violations and abuses in the illegally annexed Crimea, free Ukrainian political prisoners and hostages, and give international organizations access to Crimea. "Any attempts to legitimize or normalize the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea must end, including the automatic imposition of Russian citizenship, forced population movements, conscription in the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and illegal holding of Russian election campaigns," the NATO said.

They also condemned "Russia's ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea and are concerned by Russia's efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region."

"We also condemn Russia's construction of the Kerch Strait bridge, which represents another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and is imposing additional hardship on Ukraine's economy. Russia's unjustified use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel near the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait in November 2018 is part of the larger pattern of Russian aggressive actions in the region," the Alliance said.

In line with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 73/194 from 17 December 2018, they called on Russia "to unconditionally release the Ukrainian crew members it detained, to return the captured vessels and to comply with its international commitments by ensuring unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and allowing freedom of navigation."

"NATO's response to address Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine has been alongside and in support of an overall international effort, which has included sanctions. There can be no return to "business as usual" until there is a clear, constructive change in Russia's actions that demonstrates compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities," the statement reads.

Interfax-Ukraine



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News Line

NATO urges Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine

2019/03/bneGeneric-Ukraine-Nato-flags-1552914560.jpg
Read: 408     17:15     18 March 2019    

In connection with the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, the North Atlantic Council of NATO has issued a statement in which it called on the Russian Federation to return Crimea to Ukraine.


"Five years ago Russia used force against Ukraine to illegally and illegitimately annex Crimea. This violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is a serious breach of international law and a major challenge of Euro-Atlantic security. We strongly condemn this act, which we do not and will not recognise. We call on Russia to return control of Crimea to Ukraine," the Alliance's headquarters posted its statement on Monday.

In this regard, the Allies reaffirmed the full support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters. "Crimea is the territory of Ukraine," it says.

The Allies also expressed deep concern about human rights violations committed in the illegally annexed Crimea against Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and representatives of other local communities. "These violations include extrajudicial killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, violence, arbitrary detentions, arrest, and torture. Despite the 2017 Order of the International Court of Justice, the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, remains under persecution and is banned in its homeland," it says.

In this regard, the Allies called on the Russian Federation to immediately put an end to all violations and abuses in the illegally annexed Crimea, free Ukrainian political prisoners and hostages, and give international organizations access to Crimea. "Any attempts to legitimize or normalize the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea must end, including the automatic imposition of Russian citizenship, forced population movements, conscription in the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and illegal holding of Russian election campaigns," the NATO said.

They also condemned "Russia's ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea and are concerned by Russia's efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region."

"We also condemn Russia's construction of the Kerch Strait bridge, which represents another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and is imposing additional hardship on Ukraine's economy. Russia's unjustified use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel near the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait in November 2018 is part of the larger pattern of Russian aggressive actions in the region," the Alliance said.

In line with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 73/194 from 17 December 2018, they called on Russia "to unconditionally release the Ukrainian crew members it detained, to return the captured vessels and to comply with its international commitments by ensuring unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and allowing freedom of navigation."

"NATO's response to address Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine has been alongside and in support of an overall international effort, which has included sanctions. There can be no return to "business as usual" until there is a clear, constructive change in Russia's actions that demonstrates compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities," the statement reads.

Interfax-Ukraine



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