At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea opened criminal proceedings against representatives of the Coop Himmelb(l)au Austrian architecture firm, which is involved in the construction of an opera house in the city Sevastopol illegally annexed by Russia.

As the Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy for Sanctions Policy Oleksii Makeiev posted on Facebook, the Ukrainian side has launched domestic procedures to impose sanctions on the firm over cooperating with the Russian occupation administration and assisting Russia in its attempts to legitimise the annexation of Crimea.

Moreover, Ukraine calls on responsible foreign and Ukrainian businesses to give up any projects implemented jointly with Coop Himmelb(l)au.

“We will not tolerate such a blatant disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty and cooperation with the Russian occupation administration. The management of this Austrian company decided to walk on thin ice. They will be banned from entering Ukraine, and the company’s international reputation will be seriously damaged. Now, the name of this firm will be associated with the infamous assistance to the occupying power in committing an international crime, and the firm’s director, Wolf Prix, won’t be able to shake off a mark of ‘a puppet architect of the Kremlin’ for a long time,” Makeiev noted.

As a reminder, despite the insistence of the Ukrainian side and Ambassador of Ukraine Oleksandr Shcherba, the Austrian architecture firm refused to suspend its participation in the opera house construction project in the occupied Crimea.

Earlier it became known that the architects of Coop Himmelb(l)au firm have been involved in the construction of the Sevastopol Opera House – the flagship project of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occupied peninsula.

Bohdan Marusyak

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