Since 2014 Russia has illegally occupied the Crimean Peninsular, an internationally recognised and integral part of Ukraine. The EU needs to make clear to Russia that it recognises the fact under International Law that CRIMEA IS UKRAINE.
Russia’s occupation of Crimea and its increasing militarization of the peninsula is a threat to our common security. Russian occupation authorities continue their assault on human rights and fundamental freedoms, brutally silencing critics in civil society and the media, and curtailing religious freedom.
The Tatar people who have lived on the Crimean Peninsular for centuries have faced been violently repressed. Their culture has been scrubbed from public life in Russian occupied Crimea with many ethnic Tatars being forced to flee.
This is not the first time in their history that that Crimean Tatars have lost their homeland. In 1945 – Joseph Stalin deported hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians from Crimea to central Asia. It was not until 1992 that Crimean Tatars were able to return – many found that the homes they had left had been taken over by ethnic Russians.
In 2014 the Tatars lost their home once again when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in an act of aggression. As a result, hundred of thousands of Tatars and Ukrainians who lived on the peninsular have been internally displaced, joining the two million further Ukrainians forced to leave their homes as a result of Russian aggression in the Donbas region.
According to Human Rights Watch “The sweeping arrests in Crimea aim to portray politically active Crimean Tatars as terrorists as a way to silence them,”. Crimean Tatars are subject to arbitrary searches by Russian authorities and were forced to become Russian citizens or face deportation.
The European Conservatives and Reformists Party are calling on the European Union to apply further pressures on the Russian government to return the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine, in accordance with international law. Both Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Budapest Memorandum and in line with the 1991 referendum that demonstrated overwhelming support for remaining part of Ukraine.