The European Union stands firm in renouncing the illegal annexation of Crimea, the European Commission stated on the eve of the third anniversary of the day on which Russia signed the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula on 18 March 2014. Despite opposition from the far left and far right European Parliament passed a resolution with a solid majority of 451 Christian-Democrats, Socialists, Liberals, Greens and Conservatives in favour, 73 against and 86 abstaining.
“The EU remains committed to implement fully its policy of not recognising of the illegal annexation of Crimea and fully supports the sovereignty, the independence and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, says the EU Commissioner Sir Julian King in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Speaking on behalf of the EU executive arm, King said EU is following “with great concern the deterioration of human rights situation on the peninsula” and condemns arrests, detentions and abusive use of anti-extremism laws against Crimean Tatars and the opponents of the occupation.
In a separate resolution, voted on March 16, the European Parliament urged the European governments to study the possibility for creating of an international format for negotiations on returning Crimea to Ukraine of which the EU should be a part. They also called on the governments to take the side of Ukraine in the case against Russia at the International Court of Justice .
Ukrainian friends, you should know that representatives of 28 European nations will never be silenced and will never abandon you until all prisoners will be freed and the occupation of your country will be ended.
MEP Tunne KELAM (EPP, EE)
European parliament finds that the EU “needs to play a more visible, effective and proactive role in promoting a lasting peaceful solution” and call upon the EU’s special representative for human rights Stavros Lambrinidis to pay strict attention to the human rights situation in Crimea as it is deteriorating.
European Parliament insists that the list of 150 people and 37 companies that are currently under the EU sanctions should be extended to include all involved in the occupation.
MEPs also Russia to release 31 political prisoners kept in Russia and in Crimea (the full list of names in the source box). The resolution of the European Parliament condemns the transfers of detainees to distant regions of Russia, which hinders contacts with their families and human rights workers.
The resolution asks Russia for full free access of international human rights organisations as well as OSCE to be allowed in Crimea and to be able to establish there an independent mechanism to observe the situation with human rights.
The parliamentarians are expressing support to the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar media projects for Crimea as well as those initiated by the European Endowment for Democracy and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. They urge the authorities to open Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar schools to help protect their cultural heritage.
European Parliament’s resolution on situation in Crimea
Follow the video of the EP debate on the resolution
EU prolonged sanctions -Press release
EU sanctions on Crimea annexation
Draft resolution of EPP
Draft resolution of ALDE
Draft resolution of the socialists
Draft resolution of the conservatives
Draft resolution of the Greens