The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declares a strong protest to the Russian Federation in connection with the archaeological excavations carried out in the framework of the so-called “The Crimean War” project in the Almina Valley and the city of Sevastopol, which is being conducted in gross violation of international law and legislation of Ukraine.

Under the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 14 May 1954, the Russian Federation, as an occupying power, must respect cultural property located in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and take the necessary measures to preserve it.

The UNESCO General Conference recommendations of 5 December 1956 define the international regulative principles of archaeological excavations. It stipulates that under an armed conflict a state occupying another state territory is to refrain from conducting archaeological excavations in the occupied territories.

Russia must stop all illegal archaeological excavations and earthworks in the Almin Valley and the city of Sevastopol. Besides, it has to ensure proper treatment of all Ukrainian historical and cultural heritage in the territory of Ukraine temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation, in particular, in terms of strict compliance with Russia’s obligations under international law.

Natalia Tolub

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