Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba met with EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore who visited Ukraine for the first time.

Kuleba and Gilmore discussed the human rights situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

“The Russian Federation, as an occupying power, continues to commit systematic gross human rights violations in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Crimean Tatars, citizen journalists, and representatives of religious groups experience particular repression. Russian anti-terrorist legislation has become a tool for fabricating politically motivated cases,” the minister said.

He called on the EU Special Representative to make efforts for the release of Ukrainians illegally detained by Russia, including First Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People Nariman Dzhelyal, RFE/RL freelance correspondent Vladyslav Yesypenko, and others.

Kuleba also drew attention to Russia’s destructive policy in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions: “Not only the residents of the occupied Donbas fall victims to Russian arbitrariness. Russia is defiantly obstructing the activities of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission whose staff is now taken hostage in Donetsk. Such actions destroy the Minsk agreements, run counter Russia’s commitments within the OSCE.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine thanked Gilmore for the EU’s principled stance on the policy of non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea.

The EU Special Representative congratulated the chief Ukrainian diplomat on the successful launch of the Crimea Platform. The pair agreed to intensify cooperation in order to implement its tasks, primarily in the areas of human rights and sanctions.

Gilmore accepted Kuleba’s invitation to visit the administrative border with Crimea during his next visit to Ukraine to see for himself the consequences of the Russian occupation.

Natalia Tolub

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