Tag Archives: Sevastopol

Crimeans denounce EU «hypocrisy»

The speaker of the Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, defined the position of the European Union, which continues to refuse to recognize the Russian status of Crimea as “hypocrisy“.

Earlier, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrel, made a statement on the Crimea, in which he recalled that the EU does not recognize the Russian peninsula. In addition, he said, “the increasing militarization of the peninsula continues to negatively affect the security situation in the Black Sea region.”

“Any references to international law on their behalf sound hypocritical. The right to self-determination is enshrined in the UN charter, as well as in the UN Declaration on the Principles of International Law of 1970,” Konstantinov said to reporters.
According to him, Crimeans pay no more attention any longer to such statements issued by Western politicians.

Meanwhile the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the six anniversary of Crimea Republic and Sevastopol “re-unification” with Russian Federation:

“Today we celebrate the 6th Anniversary of the 2014 referendum in Crimea: 96,77% votes were cast in favour of reunification with Russia. This historic choice of the people of Crimea must be respected; celebrated as a triumph of true democratic processes #CrimeaIsRussia” read the issued Tweet.

Crimea anniversary EU declaration

Today the Declaration was issued by the High Representative Josep Borrell-Fontelles, on behalf of the European Union, on the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (pictured) and the city of Sevastopol.
Six years on from the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the European Union remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The European Union reiterates that it does not recognise and continues to condemn this violation of international law. It remains a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of all States.

“The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures. The European Union calls again on UN Member States to consider similar non-recognition measures in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262. The European Union does not and will not recognise the holding of elections by the Russian Federation in the Crimean peninsula.

“The increasing militarisation of the peninsula continues to negatively impact the security situation in the Black Sea region. In violation of international humanitarian law, Russian citizenship and conscription in the armed forces of the Russian Federation have been imposed on Crimean residents. The unjustified use of force by Russia against Ukraine on 25 November 2018 is a reminder of the negative effects of the illegal annexation on regional stability. The return of the illegally-captured Ukrainian servicemen and vessels, as requested by the Order of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea and called by the EU, was long overdue when it eventually took place in the second half of 2019.

“The European Union condemns the construction of the Kerch Bridge without Ukraine’s consent and the recent opening of a railway section. These are yet further steps towards a forced integration of the illegally-annexed peninsula with Russia, and a further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The EU expects Russia to ensure unhindered and free passage of all ships through the Kerch Strait to and from the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law. The illegal restrictions to such passage are still ongoing and have negative economic consequences for Ukraine’s ports in the Azov Sea and the whole region.

“Since the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation, the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula has significantly deteriorated. Residents of the peninsula face systematic restrictions of fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, religion or belief and association and the right to peaceful assembly. In accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 74/168 of 18 December 2019, it is crucial that the regional and international human rights monitoring mechanisms as well as the non-governmental human rights organisations have unimpeded access to Crimea and Sevastopol.

“The rights of the Crimean Tatars have been gravely violated through the shutting down of Crimean Tatar media outlets, and the banning of the activities of the Mejlis, their self-governing body, and the persecution of its leaders and members of their community. The EU expects Russia to reverse these decisions and to end the pressure on the Crimean Tatar community. Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and all ethnic and religious communities in the peninsula must be ensured the possibility to maintain and develop their culture, education, identity and cultural heritage traditions, which are currently threatened by the illegal annexation.

“Furthermore, Russian Federation should stop changing the demographic structure of the population by transferring its own civilian population to the peninsula. Russia must also take measures to improve the environmental situation, which has considerably worsened since the illegal annexation.

“The EU reiterates its call for the immediate release of Emir-Usein Kuku and his five co-defendants, Oleh Prykhodko and all others who have been detained in the Crimean peninsula and sentenced in breach of international law. The EU calls for full compliance with international human rights standards in the peninsula. Journalists, human rights defenders and defence lawyers should be able to work independently and without undue interference and intimidation. All pending cases of human rights violations and abuses, such as enforced disappearances, torture and killings, violence, politically motivated prosecutions, discrimination and harassment should be thoroughly investigated. Full, free and unrestricted access for international human rights actors to the whole territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and Sevastopol, continues to be paramount. The EU recalls UNGA Resolution 74/168 of 19 December 2019, and calls for its full implementation, including the Russian Federation’s obligations under applicable international humanitarian law.”

Illustration: Crimea, Livadia Palace

EU extends sanctions against Russia

The Council today decided that current sanctions in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine should be extended for a further six months until 15 September 2020.

https://twitter.com/eucouncilpress/status/1238490097240154113?s=21

These restrictive measures provide not only for a freezing of funds, but also a prohibition against making funds or other economic resources available to the listed persons. They currently apply to 175 persons and 44 entities, following the removal of two deceased persons from the list.

Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include:

economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, currently in place until 31 July 2020;
restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2020.
The legal acts were published in the Official Journal on 13 March 2020.

Image: Crimea bridge at night, source: social media

EU prolongs sanctions against Russia

At the EU Summit in Brussels the leaders agreed to prolong  economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January, the sanctions were imposed in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine against the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. (Image above: Crimea bridge).

Russia sanctions unanimously extended for another six months because of a lack of Minsk Agreements implementation,” wrote in his Twitter micro blog the spokesman, Preben Aman, .

Crimean bridge night

EU targets Crimea bridge constructors

The Council added six entities to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are listed because of their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, connecting Russia to the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula. Through their actions they supported the consolidation of Russia’s control over the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula, which in turn further undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

The measures consist of an asset freeze, meaning that all of the assets in the EU belonging to these entities are frozen and EU persons and entities cannot make any funds available to them.

The decision brings the total number of entities listed by the EU to 44. In addition, the EU imposed a travel ban and an asset freeze on 155 individuals under this sanctions regime.

The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, are available in the EU Official Journal of 31 July 2018. They were adopted by the Council by written procedure.

Other EU measures in place in response to the Ukraine crisis include: economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2019; restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2019.

“We consider deplorable the EU Council decision of 30 July 2018 on expanding EU illegitimate unilateral restrictions to a range of Russian companies involved in the construction of the Kerch Bridge” – says the comment of Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA).

“Obviously the free choice made by Crimeans to reunite with Russia is haunting the European Union. Is there any alternative explanation of the fact that since 2016 the EU sanctions list has been widening by adding almost exclusively Russian citizens and organisations that are in one way or another involved in successful democratic development of Crimea and Sevastopol within the Russian Federation?”- the statement continues.

“…We hope that the European Union will at last consider the financial and image costs of indulging anti-Russian whims of Kiev authorities. Interests of many companies from the EU Member States operating in Russia, including in the construction business, may suffer from another sanctions round. We assume that common interests of Russia and EU countries would be best served by pragmatic and mutually beneficial work based on sober recognition of existing realities” – Russian MFA statement concludes.

EU measures against Crimean Republic come into force

On 18 June 2018, the Council extended the restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia until 23 June 2019.

The measures apply to EU persons and EU based companies. They are limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol. The sanctions include prohibitions on:

  • imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU;
  • investment in Crimea or Sevastopol, meaning that no Europeans nor EU-based companies can buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services;
  • tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol, in particular, European cruise ships cannot call at ports in the Crimean peninsula, except in case of emergency;
  • exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and related to the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources. Technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure in these sectors must not be provided either.

As stated in the declaration by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the EU on 16 March 2018, the EU remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Four years on from the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the EU reiterated that it does not recognise and continues to condemn this violation of international law. (Image: Crimean Bridge)

Crimean bridge space

 

 

Five Crimeans added to EU restrictive list

“The Council added five persons to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are listed because of their involvement in the organisation of the Russian presidential elections of 18 March 2018 in the illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol, thereby actively supporting and implementing policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The five individuals hold positions of responsibility in the electoral commissions of Crimea or Sevastopol. The measures consist of a travel ban and an asset freeze” – says the text of the EU Council announcement.

“The decision brings the total number of individuals listed by the EU to 155. In addition, the EU has frozen the assets of 38 entities under this sanctions regime.

“The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, are available in the EU Official Journal of 14 May 2018.”

EU does not recognise elections in Crimea

“The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognise the holding of elections in the Crimean peninsula. The OSCE/ODIHR observers did not conduct any activities in these illegally-annexed territories, participation of EU Member States’ diplomats in observation activities within the framework of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM was also limited to the recognised territory of the Russian Federation. The EU remains unwavering in its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.” – says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service on the presidential elections in the Russian Federation. (Image: Head of Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov casting ballot).

Meanwhile Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a message about aninternational observers monitoring the elections in Republic of Crimea:

Finnish human rights activist and observer Johan BÄCKMAN said, the reunification of Crimea with Russia is the ‘most resonant political event of the century”.

Frigate Admiral Makarov in service in Crimea

The third Project 11356 frigate Admiral Makarov has entered service with the Russian Navy and will have its permanent naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. The Russian Navy’s flag was raised aboard the frigate on Wednesday, according to TASS news agency.

The flag-hoisting ceremony aboard the frigate was attended by Russian Navy Shipbuilding Chief Rear Admiral Vladimir Tryapichnikov, Baltic Fleet Commander vice Admiral Alexander Nosatov, CEO of Severnoye Design Bureau Andrei Dyachkov, representatives of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, the Yantar Shipyard where the frigate was built and local authorities.

“This is a ‘long series’ warship, the third in its series, with high seaworthy characteristics. The frigates have already proven their worth in the Mediterranean Sea and in other maritime theaters of operation,” Rear Admiral Tryapichnikov said at the ceremony of raising the Saint Andrew flag aboard the frigate.

By order of the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Korolyov, the frigate Admiral Makarov has been assigned to the Black Sea Fleet’s grouping of surface ships with their permanent base in Sevastopol.

 The Admiral Makarov was laid down at the Yantar Shipyard on February 29, 2012 and floated out on September 2, 2015.