UARU
‘You Should Not Make Concessions To Russia’ – Ukraine’s FM
1 March, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ The international community hasn’t forgot the Crimea annexation issue

✓ Ukraine prepares a court battle over the region

✓ Ukraine is trying to bring the world’s attention to increasing repressions of Crimean Tatars, the region’s Muslim minority

✓ “You simply can't, you should not make concessions to Russia.”

The international community hasn’t forgot the Crimea annexation issue, Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister is convinced. Europe has been more assertive regarding the issue in recent months, he tells Hromadske. “The issue of temporary occupation is on the agenda of the European Union and we had a great resolution of the European Parliament, I am very grateful to everyone who supported it. After month and a half of our negotiations, the secretary general of the Council of Europe was able to send his representative to Crimea, the first world mission to Crimea to monitor human rights violations and we've been talking now about making this mission permanent,” Klimkin says, adding that a long-term strategy of dealing with the issue is still in the works.

The Minister is convinced of grim prospects for the Ukrainian annexed region if it stays with Russia: “There's no way the society and the economy could develop under [international- ed.] sanctions, because even Russian companies are afraid of investing into Crimea.”

On top of keeping the world’s unity in face of Russian illegal annexation of Crimea and international monitoring of human rights violations on the peninsula, Ukraine prepares a court battle over the region. “It is definitely about a number of court cases, which we are going to initiate against Russia. And a number of Ukrainian companies have already done that and we've been coordinating the whole stuff,” Klimkin says.

Ukraine is also trying to bring the world’s attention to increasing repressions of Crimean Tatars, the region’s Muslim minority. “The Russian case is about claiming the historical legacy of the Crimea to Russia, saying “look, Crimea is an indispensable part of Russia. But the Crimean Tatars were in Crimea for centuries. It’s their land… And the Russians came to Crimea only in the end of the 18th century. It’s not about separating history and trying to understand who was there at what time, but it’s about legacy and the right of the Crimean Tatars to own their land,” Klimkin is convinced.

The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs warns of danger to make concessions to Russia. “You simply can't, you should not make concessions to Russia. Because making concession to Russia will mean something completely different in the sense of delivery. So it will be forgotten in one second and blown off, and you start from the very beginning. So my point -- no concessions.”

Josh Kovensky of Hromadske and Kyiv Post talked to Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv in February, 2016.