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Russia needs to restore Ukraine's control and stop discrimination against Crimean Tatars

Date

04 Feb 2016

Sections

Europe's East
Security

"Russia must stop the discrimination against Crimean Tatars, withdraw from Crimea and allow the Ukraine to re-establish its control over the territory if it wants to improve its relations with the EU." This was the reaction today from Cristian Dan Preda MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, and Andrej Plenković MEP, Chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, following the adoption of a Resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea and in particular of the Tatars minority.

"The EPP Group has struggled for months to put the urgent issue of human rights abuses in Crimea on the European Parliament's agenda", explained Cristian Dan Preda. "The European Parliament cannot ignore the censorship, harassment, intimidation, persecution and the physical violence used against all those who dare to criticise the legitimacy of the Russian power in Crimea", he added.

Adopted by an overwhelming majority on an EPP Group initiative, the Resolution recalls that restoring Ukraine’s control over the Crimean Peninsula is one of the prerequisites of re-establishing cooperative relations with the Russian Federation, including the suspension of related sanctions. It also strongly condemns the unprecedented levels of human rights abuses against those who oppose the so-called local authorities, and the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia. Regrettably, the Crimean Tatars, the indigenous people of Crimea, are one of the main targets of such abuse.

"The European Parliament has today reiterated its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and has supported the clear choice of Ukraine to pursue a European path", stated Andrej Plenković MEP.

"We call for the investigation of all cases of torture and disappearances, and we urge Russia to release prisoners who peacefully opposed the annexation. We urge it to grant unimpeded access to Crimea for international institutions, experts, as well as for any human rights NGOs or media that wish to visit, assess and report on the situation in Crimea. The Russian Federation, as an occupying power, has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all the population", he added. "The 'Geneva Plus' format, recently proposed as a mechanism to re-establish Ukraine's sovereignty over Crimea, is a constructive idea and all the parties should contribute to make it work", concluded Plenković.

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