5 years after occupation of the Peninsula, the EU remains committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The EU does not recognize and continues to condemn this violation of international law.

The EU does not recognize and continues to condemn the Russian occupation of Crimea - a statement

A statement with the same text issued today by EU High representative for foreign Affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini, reports mediaUA with reference to "Interfax-Ukraine".

"Five years after the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the European Union remains firm in its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The European Union reiterates that it does not recognize and continues to condemn this violation of international law", – said Mogherini.

She stated that this fact "is a clear challenge to international security, which has serious implications for the international rule of law" in protecting territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of all States.

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"The European Union remains committed to the full implementation of its policy of non-recognition, including through restrictive measures. The European Union once again calls upon States members of the United Nations to consider similar measures to recognise, in accordance with resolution 68/262 of the UN General Assembly," added the High representative.

In addition, Mogherini said that Russia's violations of international law have led to a dangerous growth of tension in the Kerch Strait and the Azov sea. "Unreasonable use of force by Russia against Ukraine on 25 November 2018 is a reminder about the negative consequences of the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to regional stability. The EU reiterates its call for Russia to unconditionally and without further delay to release the illegally captured Ukrainian crew members, vessels and equipment", – reminded the Community's position of High representative.

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However, she pointed out that before their release, the Russian Federation should respect their rights to legal representation and access to representatives of the Consulate and provide injured crew members with adequate medical care.

Mogherini also said that the EU condemns the construction of the Kerch bridge without the consent of Ukraine, which is another violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. "The EU expects that Russia will provide unimpeded and safe passage of all ships through the Kerch Strait in the Azov sea and from it in accordance with international law. Illegal limitations on such passage have negative economic consequences for the ports of Ukraine in the Azov sea and in the entire region," she said.

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EU high representative expressed confidence that the growing militarization of the Peninsula continues to negatively affect the situation in the field of security in the black sea region.

Mogherini also noted serious violations of the rights of the Crimean Tatars as a result of the closure of the Crimean Tatar mass media, the prohibition of activities of the Majlis and the persecution of its leaders and members of their communities. "The EU expects Russia to undo these decisions and the cessation of pressure on the Crimean Tatar community. Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and all ethnic and religious communities on the Peninsula must be ensured the possibility to preserve and develop their culture, traditions, cultural heritage, education and identity," she said.

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