The Third Summit of the Crimean Platform Was Held in Kyiv (Main Statements)
On 23 August, Kyiv hosted the third summit of the Crimean Platform. The main issues of the summit were the future of Crimea and the de-occupation of the peninsula by military means.
This event was broadcast live on the YouTube channel of Crimean Platform.
"What is the main task of the Crimean Platform? To prepare for de-occupation. We understand how we will return to Crimea. We understand how many steps we all need to take. We understand how difficult this important task is, but we see this path. Crimea is the key to the security of the Black Sea. We cannot leave the keys in the hands of terrorists," said President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to him, the post-war transformation of Ukraine will provide Crimea with such changes that will allow it to be economically attractive all year round, not just during the season.
Zelensky noted that there are already a number of international, national, and local businesses that are ready to enter Crimea and start operating immediately after de-occupation.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara does not recognise the annexation of Crimea and has condemned the illegality of this action from the very beginning.
"We continue to support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We have always stated at any platform, including the UN, that Crimea is part of Ukraine. The security and well-being of Crimean Tatars is also one of our priorities," he said.
President of Estonia Alar Karis noted that Russia will continue to build up its military presence in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean seas.
"This is not just about European security, there are global implications, and that is why we need a global response. We call on all countries to join President Zelensky's 'peace formula'," Karis said.
The Estonian president said that the war in Ukraine will end not just with a victory on the battlefield, but when all those responsible, including the Russian leadership, are brought to justice.
"Since 2014, the people of Crimea have experienced the full force of the cruel colonial policy. The pressure is increasing on those who oppose the illegal annexation. Russian passports are being imposed on the entire population. Land is being nationalised, independent organisations are being forced to close, and so-called elections are being planned in flagrant violation of international law," said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda.
"Russia continues to violate human rights, illegally detain and imprison Crimean Tatars, and militarise the peninsula. Our participation in the Crimean Platform summit once again confirms that Ukraine is not alone in its struggle for justice," said President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs.
He emphasised the importance of being united in supporting Ukraine and its people, seeking ways to mitigate the negative global consequences of Russia's war and bringing all of Russia and its representatives to justice.
President of Poland Andrzej Duda said that the third summit of the Crimean Platform is "living proof" that the international community has realised the significance for the whole world of the illegal occupation of Crimea and other Ukrainian lands.
"No one should have any illusions that the occupation of Crimea is a regional problem. It is a global problem. Therefore, the de-occupation of Crimea and the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity are necessary preconditions not only for the security of the Baltic Sea region, but also for the stability of the global security architecture," Duda said.
"I welcome the joint statements adopted today, which are unanimously backed by the EU, as Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity are indisputable. Ukraine has the right to state that the war began in Crimea and its end will be the return of Crimea to Ukraine. We understand perfectly well a nation that is fighting for its own rights," said Hungarian President Katalin Novak.
The illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia was a serious violation of international law, said Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.
"Today we are witnessing new violations of the UN Charter. Russia continues its brutal war of aggression in Ukraine. This is an illegal war. It is an act of aggression. I would like to mention the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians living on the Crimean peninsula. The human rights situation is of great concern to us," he said.
"The aggressor state of Russia must be deprived of all the gains of aggression, which means the complete and unconditional de-occupation of Ukraine, including Crimea," said Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean.
He noted that Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula had a much broader effect than just a seizure of territory.
"Russia has turned Crimea into a military foothold, which has far-reaching consequences not only for Ukraine itself, but also for the wider international community," Recean said.
The Moldovan prime minister stressed that as winter approaches, Ukraine needs additional supplies of air defence systems.
"Russia's criminal intention to leave Ukrainians in the cold, darkness and without water this year must fail," he said.
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili stressed that the Black Sea should not be left under Russian control. According to her, Russia's war against Ukraine has demonstrated that the de-occupation of all territories is an absolute prerequisite for peace and stability. She stressed that the unity and determination of Europe is crucial for Ukraine's victory and equally crucial for the future security of Georgia and Moldova.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that France does not recognise "Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territories or the results of the shameful elections that took place," he said.
He stressed that France will remain by Ukraine's side on its European integration path and alongside its aspirations for a just and lasting peace in accordance with international law.
The European Union stands for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and this includes the territory of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This was stated by President of the EU Council Charles Michel.
Michel noted that the EU will continue to advocate for the prosecution of all those responsible for these crimes. He is also convinced that Ukraine will become a member of the European Union.
"We believe that it is not a question of whether Ukraine will become a member of the EU, but when it will happen. We are preparing to start accession negotiations," he said.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that in 2014, Russia violated Ukraine's borders, occupied Crimea and held a fake referendum.
"All those who remained in Crimea are witnesses of repression. Journalists and activists are disappearing, and pro-Russian propaganda is trying to turn people against each other. It is also targeting Crimean Tatars, arrests are taking place," the US Secretary of State said.
He noted that Washington will never recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea.
"Crimea is Ukraine. We will continue to support Ukraine's independence through the Crimean Platform," Blinken said and called on Russia to release all political prisoners.
The speedy liberation of Crimea is especially important for the Crimean Tatars, as it is a matter of survival for them as a sovereign nation, said Mustafa Dzhemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatar people.
"Some politicians are even calling for Ukraine to sacrifice some of its territories, including Crimea. I am absolutely sure that if it were their own territories, such proposals would not have been made," Dzhemilev said.
He noted that after the occupation in 2014, approximately 10% of Crimean Tatars and tens of thousands of ethnic Ukrainians were forced to leave the peninsula under pressure from the occupiers.