The inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform, an international mechanism aimed to elaborate and further implement the strategy for de-occupation of Crimea, has started in the capital of Ukraine.
The event is attended by representatives of 46 states and international organisations, including 14 heads of state. In general, the delegations of all EU, NATO, and G7 member states, as well as the Normandy format countries except for the Russian Federation, participate in the summit.
Before the summit started, the delegations made common photos. Singer Jamala performed the song 1944.
“We begin the inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform with a song by the Ukrainian star, Crimean Tatar Jamala, who won the Eurovision Song Contest. It is a great honour and pleasure to welcome each of you today. Let’s write history together,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba as he greeted the delegations.
“Today, 23 August 2021, a very important, significant event takes place. For the first time since the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula, this issue has been raised at the highest international level… Seven years ago, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from my country. Our territory was annexed by one of the UN Security Council members… Ukrainian Crimea was a guarantee of regional stability, and now it is, so to speak, a powder keg. Since the beginning of the occupation, Moscow has tripled its military presence on our Ukrainian peninsula. Once a world-famous resort, Crimea has become a military base, 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… The occupation of Crimea calls into question the effectiveness of the entire international security system. Without restoring confidence in it, no state can be sure that it will avoid falling the next victim to the occupation of the territory,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in the opening remarks.
He also noted that too much time had been wasted, so “Ukraine begins to write a new chapter in the history of Ukrainian Crimea – the chapter on de-occupation,” and the issue of Crimea should not disappear from the international agenda for another seven years.
“Ukraine and I personally will do everything possible to return Crimea so that Crimea becomes part of Europe along with Ukraine. To do this, we will use all possible political, legal, and primarily diplomatic means,” Zelensky stressed.
The slogan of the Crimean Platform is “Crimea is Ukraine: Stronger Together.”
A comprehensive cultural programme is planned on the summit sidelines. It will consist of seven interactive elements, digital installations, and exhibitions:
– Interactive multimedia installation Tesseract CRIMEA
– Multimedia Gallery Stories of Crimea
– Exhibition Symbols of Crimea
– Installation Stardust (outlines the Kerch Peninsula, the sand slopes recreate the landscape of Crimea, and the sculptures located on it mark the first settlements)
– Interactive video wall Cultural Treasures of Crimea
– Interactive portal Letters to Crimea
– Project We are Crimea (famous Ukrainians from Crimea, who cannot return to their birthplace for seven years, share memories and stories about the peninsula).
The Crimea Platform is a new consultative and coordination format initiated by Ukraine to step up the efficiency of international response to the occupation of Crimea, respond to growing security challenges, increase international pressure on Russia, prevent further human rights violations, protect victims of the occupation regime, and achieve the main goal: to de-occupy Crimea and restore Ukraine’s sovereignty over the peninsula.