The inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform, which is to become the center for the development and adoption of international decisions on the deoccupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, has begun in Kyiv. The event, initiated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is attended by delegations from 46 countries.
Opening the summit, the President of Ukraine noted that today, on August 23, 2021, a significant event is taking place: for the first time since the occupation of the Ukrainian Crimea, this issue has been raised to the highest international level. Volodymyr Zelenskyy greeted 46 delegations - participants of the first summit of the Crimea Platform.
The President emphasized that seven years ago in the center of Europe, the Russian Federation annexed and occupied part of the territory of Ukraine - the Crimean peninsula, which covers an area of 27 thousand square kilometers.
"It's more than some European countries, than some countries in the world. Our territory was annexed by one of the states - guarantors of Ukraine's security in accordance with the Budapest Memorandum. One of the member states of the UN Security Council," he said.
The Head of State noted that under Russian occupation, the Crimean peninsula had become a "powder barrel," and Moscow had tripled its military presence in Crimea.
"Today, Crimea has turned from a world-famous resort into a military base. It became a springboard for further expansion of the Russian Federation's influence in the Black Sea region. Crimea has become a territory where human rights and freedoms are grossly and systematically violated,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
He stressed that political persecution, enforced disappearances, illegal detention of more than 100 political prisoners, torture, suppression of media and religious freedom, expropriation of property, forced demographic changes, illegal conscription of Ukrainian citizens into the Russian army, propaganda of war among children are taking place on the territory of the occupied peninsula today.
In addition, according to the President, the occupation of Crimea calls into question the effectiveness of the entire international security system, the principles of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders.
"Without restoring confidence in it, no state can be sure that it will not become the next victim of the occupation of part of the territory," the President stressed.
"I will personally do everything possible to return Crimea, so that it becomes part of Europe together with Ukraine. To do this, we will use all possible political, legal and, above all, diplomatic means," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
He noted that the Crimea Platform should become a center for the development and adoption of key international decisions on Crimea.
"From today, we are actually starting the countdown to the liberation of our land - the Ukrainian peninsula. It is quite possible that August 23, 2021 will go down in history as the day of the beginning of the deoccupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. The occupation of the Crimean peninsula began in Moscow. We will definitely start the deoccupation of Crimea in Kyiv. Let's start," the Head of State urged.
The "Crimea Platform" initiative of the President of Ukraine is aimed at improving the effectiveness of the international response to the prolonged occupation of Crimea, increasing international pressure on the Kremlin, preventing further human rights violations and protecting victims of the occupation regime; it should be a response to the growth of security threats, as well as contribute to the achievement of the main goal - the deoccupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine in a peaceful manner.