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Politics 2019-02-15T04:39:48+02:00
Ukrainian news
EU: Russian Presidential Election In Crimea Will Not Be Recognized, Militarization Of Crimea Affecting Securit

EU: Russian Presidential Election In Crimea Will Not Be Recognized, Militarization Of Crimea Affecting Security Situation In Black Sea Region

The European Union has said that it will not recognize Russian presidential elections in the annexed Crimea and stressed that the ongoing militarization of the peninsula continues to impact the security situation in the Black Sea region.

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stated this in a statement on the situation in the Crimea, the Ukrainian News Agency reports.

According to the statement, the European Union remains firmly committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity four years on from the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and it reiterates that it does not recognize and continues to condemn this violation of international law.

According to the statement, the annexation of the peninsula by Russia remains a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states.

"The European Union does not recognize the holding of elections by the Russian Federation in the Crimean peninsula. The ongoing militarization of the peninsula continues to impact the security situation in the Black Sea region. In violation of international humanitarian law, Russian citizenship and conscription in the armed forces of the Russian Federation have been imposed on Crimean residents," the statement said.

In addition, the European Union condemned the construction of the Kerch Bridge without Ukraine's consent and the limitations it has already imposed on the freedom of transit.

According to the European Union, the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula has deteriorated further since the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation.

"Residents of the peninsula face systematic restrictions of fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, religion or belief and association and the right to peaceful assembly," the statement said.

According to the statement, the rights of Crimean Tatars have been gravely violated through the shutting down of Crimean Tatar media outlets, the banning of the activities of the Mejlis, their self-governing body, and the persecution of its leaders and members of their community. Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and all ethnic and religious communities in the peninsula must be ensured the possibility to maintain and develop their culture, traditions, education, and identity.

The European Union reiterated its call for immediate release of Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Mykola Semena, and all those who have been detained and sentenced in breach of international law.

"Journalists, human rights defenders and defense lawyers should be able to work independently and without undue interference," the statement said.

The European Union called for full compliance with international human rights standards on the peninsula.

All pending cases of human rights violations and abuses, such as enforced disappearances, torture, and killings should be thoroughly investigated, the statement said.

In addition, the European Union said that full, free, and unrestricted access for international human rights actors to the whole territory of Ukraine, including the Crimea and Sevastopol, continues to be paramount.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Ukraine intends to bring those involved in the organization and conduct of Russian presidential elections in the annexed Crimea to justice.

Ukraine has called on the international community to tighten the sanctions against Russia because of the situation in the Crimea.

Presidential elections will be held in Russia on March 18.

Voting in the presidential elections will also be conducted in the annexed Crimea.

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