European Parliament named returning the Crimea to Ukraine a condition for lifting the sanctions


At a plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday the European Parliament adopted a resolution stating that the removal of European sanctions against Russia is tied to Ukraine’s control recovery over Crimea.

The deputies reminded that the EU considers annexation of Crimea illegal, and the EU will continue the policy of non-recognition the Crimea as a part of Russia.

“Regaining the control over the peninsula by Ukraine is one of the prerequisites for the resumption of cooperative relations with the Russian Federation, including the suspension of appropriate sanctions”, – stressed in the resolution.

In addition, the European Parliament criticized violation of human rights allegedly observed in the Crimea, primarily of the Crimean Tatars, as well as “severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly” in the Crimea.

Russia, they said, “is responsible for the security of the entire population, respecting human rights, cultural and religious rights of the indigenous Crimean Tatars, and other minorities for the maintenance of law and order in the Crimea”.

In this regard, parliamentarians called on the Russian authorities in Crimea to investigate all cases of human rights violations effectively and impartially, including disappearances and torture, as well as to provide unhindered access of representatives of international organizations and independent experts of the OSCE, the UN, the Council of Europe, as well as any human rights NGOs, and news media to the Crimea.

MEPs welcomed the visit of the Secretary General’s special envoy to the Crimea, and called on the EU Council to continue the sanctions “until the full reintegration of Crimea into the legal system of Ukraine”.

The European Parliament condemned the “militarization of the Crimean peninsula” and “Russian threats to place nuclear weapons in Crimea”, and addressed a request to Russia “to start negotiations with Ukraine and other parties on the termination of the occupation of the Crimea”.

The resolution of the European Parliament is a recommendation, and not of a binding nature.

Source: Interfax