Deputy Director of NATO Representation to Ukraine Ann-Kristin Bjergene said this, speaking at the fourth international forum "Occupied Peninsula: Four Years of Resistance", an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
"The human rights situation in Crimea is deteriorating: arrests, torture, suppression of freedom of expression. We need to take measures to tackle this... The reintegration of Crimea in Ukraine by peaceful mechanisms should remain a long-term priority for Ukrainian politics," Bjergene said.
As the Deputy Director of NATO Representation in Ukraine stressed, Crimea should continue to be the focus of attention. The NATO's stand has remained unchanged for four years of occupation of the peninsula by Russia: the Alliance considers the annexation of Crimea to be illegal and unlawful, Bjergene emphasized.
"The military buildup escalates in Crimea. We condemn this and express serious concern about further strengthening of military presence in the Black Sea region. The Alliance will obviously monitor the developments," the Deputy Director of NATO Representation to Ukraine said.
Furthermore, NATO provides practical support for reforms in Ukraine through the so-called comprehensive assistance package, she highlighted.
"For us, a democratic and prosperous Ukraine is a long-term partner and a key element of stability in the region," Bjergene noted.