“The Russian presidential decree adding most of Crimea and Sevastopol to the list of border territories of the Russian Federation in which non-Russian citizens are prevented from owning land, has come into force on 20 March 2021, a year after its adoption. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia, which is a clear violation of international law. Therefore, the European Union does not recognise this decree and considers its entry into force as yet another attempt to forcibly integrate the illegally-annexed peninsula into Russia,” reads the statement by the EU’s Spokesperson on the Russian land ownership decree affecting Crimea, released on the website of EEAS.
In the statement, the EU has again confirmed that Crimea is part of Ukraine. It is noted that the decree is also a violation of international humanitarian law, as it is another step towards the imposition of Russian citizenship on the peninsula. This has led to the arbitrary deprivation of property, the document reads.
“The European Union calls on Russia to stop all violations of international law on the Crimean peninsula. The European Union is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, and welcomes Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts to this end. The European Union will continue to enforce its non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, including through restrictive measures,” says the statement.
On March 20, 2021, a Russian decree banning foreign citizens from owning land came into force in most of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, temporarily occupied by Russia. The decree affects Ukrainian citizens who refused to receive Russian passports.
Russian President Putin's decree was signed on March 20, 2020. According to it, most areas of Crimea were included in the "list of border territories in which foreigners cannot own land."
Restrictions are imposed on land ownership in 19 municipalities of Crimea (out of 25), including Yevpatoria, Kerch, Yalta, Sudak towns. The ban also applies to 12 municipality districts of the city of Sevastopol. Land ownership in Simferopol, Dzhankoi, Krasnoperekopsk, Bilohirsk, Krasnohvardiyske and Pervomaiske districts was not banned.
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