“We will never recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea or any other Ukrainian territory. In the face of Putin’s assault, we must continue give our Ukrainian friends all the military, humanitarian, economic and diplomatic support that they need until Russia ends this hideous war and withdraws its forces from the entirety of Ukraine,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the Crimea Platform summit, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
Johnson noted that Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 had been the direct precursor to today’s war. However, back then, “not everyone realised the sheer enormity of what was happening at the time.” But after Putin escalated his onslaught against Ukraine on February 24, the international community reacted with strength and unity.
“But the first act of this tragedy opened eight years earlier when Russian forces began fanning out across Crimea, and taking control of a peninsula… At a stroke, Putin forcibly annexed the territory of a European country – and forcibly redrew a European frontier for the first time since 1945,” the British PM said.
According to him, Putin turned Crimea into an armed camp and used it as one of the launch pads to invade Ukraine on February 24. “And I’m afraid that all this has even greater salience today because Putin is planning to do to parts of Ukraine, in fact all of Ukraine, what he has done to Crimea, and he is preparing more annexations and more sham referendums,” Johnson said.
The British PM underscored that “it has never been more important for all of us to stand together in defence of the foundational principle of international law, which is that, no territory, no country, can acquire territory or change borders by force of arms.”
As reported, the 2nd Crimea Platform Summit started in Kyiv today, August 23. President Zelensky opened the event, addressing the summit participants.
Sixty countries and international organizations take part in the summit with about 40 at the level of presidents and prime ministers.
The summit is held online for security reasons but some representatives of the international community have arrived in Ukraine.
This year, the geography of the Crimea Platform expanded and included the countries on the African continent and the other side of the Atlantic.