A year ago, іn February-March 2014, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea – part of the territory of Ukraine – was illegally occupied and annexed by Russia. Having committed this crime, Russian Federation started to transform the Crimean Peninsula into a large military base threatening other Black Sea countries, first of all, members of NATO.
Russia also began a policy of oppressing the only indigenous people of the peninsula – the Crimean Tatars. These people are being murdered, discriminated and insulted in their own Motherland again. A number of the Crimean Tatar activists were kidnapped and tortured to death by the occupants. Representative organs, educational, cultural and religious establishments of the Crimean Tatars are being oppressed or closed. Thus the occupational forces prohibited Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and expelled from Crimea its leaders Mr. Mustafa Kırımoğlu and Mr. Rеfat Chubarov.
In fact, what is going on now in Crimea is another crime against the Crimean Tatars. The aim of this crime is the same as it was for the genocides against the Crimean Tatars committed by the Tsarist and Stalin’s regimes: to eliminate all the traces of the Crimean Tatar culture from the Crimea and “prove” that this territory “had always been a Russian sacred land”.
The international community does not recognize unlawful occupation of Crimea by Russia as well as activities of the so-called “authorities of Crimea”. This stance of the international community was confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly when 100 nations voted for the Resolution “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine” on 27 March 2014. It was also confirmed by OSCE, Council of Europe, European Union and NATO. All the aforementioned nations and international organizations condemned the occupation of the territory of Ukraine, called upon other states to refuse to recognize the forced annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation and called upon Russia to end its intervention in Ukraine.
We urge the international community to stand against the occupation of the sovereign territories of Ukraine (Crimea and parts of Donbas) just as against the occupations of the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan (Mountainous Karabakh), Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) and Moldova (Transnistria) that should be recognized as brutal violations of the main principle of the international law – the principle of territorial integrity of independent states. Such aggressions undermine the entire system of international relations and are threatening stability and securityin the world.