President of Ukraine

Andriy Yermak: Returning Crimea under the Ukrainian flag is the only effective way to guarantee security for the whole of Europe

27 February 2024 - 09:39

Andriy Yermak: Returning Crimea under the Ukrainian flag is the only effective way to guarantee security for the whole of Europe

The demilitarization of Crimea and the return of the peninsula under the Ukrainian flag is not only a matter of restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also the only effective way to guarantee the security of the whole of Europe. This was emphasized by Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak during his participation in the International Platform for the Release of Civilians Illegally Detained by the Russian Federation, held in Kyiv on the tenth anniversary of the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

"This tragic anniversary is a time of grief, but also of faith. It is a time of hope. A time of action for the sake of the future. And we know: Ukraine will survive. And Crimea will be free again. It is inevitable. After all, coercion will never replace freedom. And the stolen will never be yours," the Head of the Presidential Office emphasized.

According to Andriy Yermak, the illegal seizure of Crimea affected representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, such as Nariman Dzhelyal, Emir-Usein Kuku, Enver Bekirov, Muslim Aliyev, who refused to put up with the occupiers, tried to tell the truth and ended up in Russian prisons.

"As of August 2023, 175 Ukrainian citizens are in Russian prisons. 117 of them are Crimeans. What does this figure indicate? A policy of oppression of the people who have no other homeland. An attempt to turn this freedom-loving people into voiceless slaves again. But instead of history, the occupiers read fairy tales. Otherwise, they would have known that it is impossible. Despite the fact that the Russian history of Crimea is a chronicle of genocide. And all this is today's reality," the Head of the Presidential Office said.

He noted that Ukraine knows the names of each of the Crimean Tatars in Russian captivity, and our state will not stop until they are all released.

"I want every resident of the Crimean peninsula to hear me: you will be free. And this will happen the sooner you overcome your doubts and despair. Resist. You are not alone. Ukraine is with you. And the world is with you now," said Andriy Yermak.

He expressed his belief that Russia will collapse, as it is a prison of nations dominated by fear.

"And the collapse will come faster the more active we are. Both in Ukraine and abroad. The story of 2014 should not be repeated. Never again," the Head of the Presidential Office emphasized.

Andriy Yermak stated that the war, which is now affecting the whole world, began in Crimea, and the way to its end lies through the Crimean peninsula.

"President Zelenskyy was the first to state this very clearly. He also initiated a comprehensive reform of approaches to this problem in both domestic and foreign policy. The Crimea Platform has become a powerful tool for promoting the issue of Crimea's liberation in the world," the Head of the Presidential Office noted.

He thanked the ambassadors of all the states that had joined the preparatory activities for the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula and called for participation in ensuring its effective implementation.

"Moscow will not stop blackmailing the world with food crises as long as Crimea remains an instrument of aggression. In Russia's plans, the peninsula has always had one and only role - to be a military base. Not a resort. Not a tourist paradise. Not an investment hub. Only a fortress. And as long as Crimea is occupied, Ukraine will not be safe. Europe and other regions will not be safe either," the Head of the Presidential Office added and stated that those who suggest the possibility of exchanging Ukraine's territories for peace do not understand this fact.

"The demilitarization of Crimea is an extremely effective way to stop this," Andriy Yermak is convinced.

"That is why we insist on the full restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. That is why we are convinced that any compromise with the aggressor will end in tears, blood and numerous deaths," he emphasized and expressed his belief that the implementation of the Peace Formula is the only way to prevent this.

That is why Ukraine, together with its international partners, is making every effort to make the implementation of the Formula a fait accompli, the Head of the Presidential Office summarized, emphasizing that the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the Crimean peninsula will be a direct result of joint actions by our country and its allies.