“We also stand ready to discuss with Russia the issue of peaceful de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula, which is a part of resolution of the conflict based on the OSCE core principles and norms of international law. Restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders requires withdrawal of the Russian occupation forces from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Until that happens, we demand Russia to provide access of the international monitoring mechanisms to the temporarily occupied Crimea,” Ambassador Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, said at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on 1 October 2020.
The diplomat underscored that the urgency of such access had again been confirmed by the facts recorded in the most recent report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine covering the period from February to July 2020. Its Crimea-related part documented ongoing pressure against Crimean residents including illegal application by Russia of its own legislation as occupying power and illegal military conscription of protected persons prohibited under international humanitarian law.
“Persecution of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians continues: on 16 September, seven more Ukrainian citizens were unlawfully sentenced by the Russian occupation authorities for up to 19 years of imprisonment in yet another fabricated “Hizb ut-Tahrir” case, which clearly demonstrates Russia’s unchanged systemic policy of religious discrimination and political reprisals. We call on the participating States to react on this unlawful sentencing,” Tsymbaliuk said.
Ukraine’s Permanent Representative the International Organizations in Vienna called on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal occupation of Crimea, militarization of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and to stop its aggression against Ukraine, “including by withdrawing its armed formations, mercenaries, and their hardware from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and fully implementing its commitments under the Minsk agreements.”
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