The European Union has condemned the occupation of Crimea once again and expressed regrets over Russia’s attempt to legitimize the annexation by holding an international meeting on the situation on the Crimea Peninsula. As it was emphasized the participation of EU representatives in the event cannot be considered as a recognition of annexation.

The corresponding statement has been placed on the EU representative office’s page in the UN.

The document condemns not only the Crimea occupation, but also the obstruction of international navigation in the Black and Azov Seas by Russia as well as human rights violations on Crimea Peninsula.

“We regret that Russia convened a meeting on the “Arria formula”, having tried to legitimize the illegal annexation wrongfully, and we emphasize that this event and our participation in it cannot be interpreted as a recognition of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city status reconsideration.

Already for 6 years long the EU has not recognized and does not recognize now the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to strongly condemn this violation of the international law. The EU’s position remains steadfast in upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity… and will continue its policy, including sanctions”, the statement noted.

It notes, that Russia’s actions are a flagrant violation of international law and key principles of the world order, and the further peninsula militarization has quite worsened the security situation in the Black Sea region and made navigation in the Azov Sea more complicated.

“We also call on Russia to stop abusing the anti-extremist legislation and to release all illegal detainees on the peninsula,” the statement reads.

Besides, the European Union considers providing the representatives of monitoring missions and human rights organizations with free access to the territory of occupied Crimea to be absolutely necessary.

Let’s remind, the day before Russia organized a meeting within the UN regarding the situation in Crimea. The event was held according to the “Arria formula”, which means the informal negotiations on international security issues. Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and the Baltic States have rejected their participation in the conference at once.

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