Ukraine vows to bring back Crimea

Photo: AP

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed on Monday to do all he can to bring back the peninsula of Crimea, annexed by Russia seven years ago, and urged international allies to support the effort, news wires reported. He spoke at the Crimean Platform summit, called by Ukraine to build up pressure on Russia.

In his opening remarks, Zelenskyy promised to “do everything possible to return Crimea, so that Crimea, together with Ukraine, becomes part of Europe.” “For this we will use all possible political, legal and first and foremost diplomatic means,” Zelenskyy said cited by the AP, adding that Kyiv needs “effective support at the international level.”

Top officials from 46 countries and organisaation took part in the summit, including the US, the EU and Turkey. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the summit as an “anti-Russian event.” Zelenskyy charged that Russia has turned Crimea into a “military base” and “a foothold for Russia to boost its influence on the Black Sea region.” He said Moscow has tripled its military presence in Crimea.

“Occupation of Crimea casts doubts on the effectiveness of the entire international security system,” Ukraine’s president said. “Without restoring the trust in it, not a single state can be sure that it wouldn’t become the next victim of occupation.”

Top Western officials at the summit relayed messages of support for Ukraine. “Ukraine will never be alone in that Crimea is Ukraine,” EU Council President Charles Michel said. “Unfortunately, Russia continues to act in ways that multiply the negative impact of the annexation. The continued militarisation of the peninsula heavily affects the security situation in the Black Sea region.”

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