Today, the Office of Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea celebrates its 29th anniversary. After President Volodymyr Zelenskyy changed the approach to the role of this body, the Office of Representative became more actively involved in the process of returning the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Permanent Representative of the President to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Anton Korynevych has said.
On December 17, 1992, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted Law No. 2875-XII "On the Office of Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Republic of Crimea." The day of its approval became the date of the establishment of the Office of Representative. Thus began the first steps of a historically important activity.
In the spring of 2014, after the beginning of the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation, the Office of Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea resumes its activities near the peninsula – in the city of Kherson. Given the numerous violations of human rights by the Russian Federation and the importance of developing a policy of de-occupation and reintegration, in 2019 the head of state decided to open the Office of Representative in Kyiv, which took over a number of strategic issues, and the office in Kherson continued to work on the implementation of tactical challenges and with citizens' appeals.
In 2019, Zelenskyy appointed Anton Korynevych as Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, and Daria Svyrydova and Tamila Tasheva became his deputies.
On March 11, 2021, Zelenskyy, by his decree, put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine "On the Strategy for the De-occupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol," on the text of which the updated team of the Office of Representative was actively working. On April 13, 2021, the President of Ukraine signed decree No. 160/2021 "On the priority areas of activity of the Office of Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," which for the first time approved the strategy for the activities of this body under the conditions of temporary occupation.
The Office of Representative, together with partners, is working on the development of initiatives aimed at implementing the strategy for the de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea, the development of a transitional justice policy, the observance of human rights and the implementation of other steps aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine and protecting our citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories.
Among the tasks of the Office of Representative:
● simplification of citizens' access to administrative services;
● ensuring access to health services;
● implementation of the rights of young people to access Ukrainian education;
● availability and improvement of conditions for crossing the administrative border;
● development and strengthening of the level of trust in public institutions;
● documenting human rights violations;
● regulation of criminal legislation to ensure the principle of inevitability of punishment for grave crimes;
● assistance in the imposition of sanctions against persons involved in the occupation and its consequences, and more.
On February 26, 2020, Zelenskyy, by his decree No. 58/2020, declared in Ukraine the Day of Resistance to Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. This important date is celebrated every year and bears truth and justice, because we must remember that our citizens resisted the occupation of Crimea to the last, despite the propaganda of the Russian Federation.
Special attention is paid to the protection of the rights of core nations, in particular, the Crimean Tatars. On July 1, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada adopted Law No. 1616-IX "On the Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine," intended to put the historical record straight.
The team of the Office of Representative together with the Ministry for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, experts from human rights organizations joined in the development of a bill "On social and legal protection of persons in respect of whom the fact of deprivation of personal liberty as a result of armed aggression against Ukraine and their families," which the President Of Ukraine submitted as urgent to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in September 2021.
The Office of Representative was involved in the implementation of the key initiative of the Head of State regarding the de-occupation of Crimea – the launch of the international Crimea Platform. On August 23, the constitutive summit of the initiative was held, which was attended by 46 delegations from the countries of the world and international organizations. As part of the Office of Representative, the Service for the Support of the Crimea Platform was created, which on the day of the summit opened the national office of the Crimea Platform in the center of Kyiv.
Today, 34 team members work in the Office of Representative, some of whom are Crimean in origin. For them, de-occupation and reintegration is a personal mission on the way home and the return of the Crimean peninsula.
It was very important for us to assemble a professional team and be able to be included in the discussion of the future of the Crimean peninsula at all levels. Changing the approach to the role of the Office of Representative and the opportunity to have a full-time office in Kyiv that ensures our work and enhances interagency cooperation is an important step of the President of Ukraine in shaping a consistent policy for the return of Crimea. Thanks to the amendments to the decree on the Office of Representative, we are now included in the processes concerning the return of the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and today we are ready to show our first results," Korynevych said.
He expressed his conviction that the Office of Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will definitely reopen its doors in the city of Simferopol.
"Twenty nine years is the period when we draw conclusions, share victories and continue to work further along the path of the de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea. We are working to restore the constitutional order in the temporarily occupied territories and return freedom and human rights for every citizen living in Crimea," the permanent representative of the Head of State said.