The constituent forum of the Crimea Platform expert network started in the capital of Ukraine on Friday, 6 August. The event was opened by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar.

According to her, the Crimea Platform envisages the development of a strategic vision for the de-occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula and the consolidation of international resources for the liberation of Crimea.

In particular, outlining the tasks of the Crimea Platform, Dzheppar noted: “This is a strategic vision. It came to us when we, as a state, adopted a strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea. Now, we make efforts to consolidate international resources, international attention, and national attention and we sincerely believe that only such an approach can lead to synergies.”

The diplomat also said that a person would be delegated to the Crimea Platform summit to voice the ideas of the expert network. In addition, representatives of civil society will have the floor at the summit.

The day before, the forum organisers stated that the mission of the expert network was linked to the mission of the Crimea Platform and “aims to help consolidate international support for the liberation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov from Russian occupation, overcome its negative consequences, develop and advocate expertise on relevant topics.”

Representatives of embassies, national and international experts took part in the event.

In particular, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States in Ukraine Kristina Kvien spoke at the forum, emphasising that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine extends beyond Crimea.

“As we all know, Russian-backed troops in Donbas continue to kill Ukrainians in their territory, and Russia seeks to use its illegal occupation of Crimea to justify restricting access to the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov. But we know that more needs to be done to bring Russia to justice, and that is why the United States strongly supports the Crimea Platform, and we will work closely with the Government of Ukraine to support it,” the diplomat said.

She added that reprisals and human rights violations in Crimea should be exposed further, and those who committed these crimes should be brought to justice.

As a reminder, the Crimea Platform summit will be launched in Kyiv on 23 August 2021. Following the summit, a brief document will be adopted to set out the vision of further consolidation of the policy of de-occupation of Crimea.

This week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced that 32 countries and international organisations already confirmed their participation in the Crimea Platform activity.

Bohdan Marusyak

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