Three 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 firmly committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is the message of the declaration of the High Representative, Federica Mogherini, made on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union reiterates its condemnation of this violation of international law, which remains a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the 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 does not recognise the holding of elections by the Russian Federation in the Crimean peninsula nor the local or national representatives elected.
The declaration also addresses the ongoing militarisation of the peninsula, which has continued to impact the security situation in the Black Sea region. The human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula has also deteriorated further over the past year, in particular the rights of the Crimean Tatars.
The High Representative, on behalf of the 28 Member States, calls for the release of the First Deputy Chairman Akhtem Chiygoz and for the charges against Deputy Chairman Ilmi Umerov to be dropped, and the right to legal counsel to be fully respected. The immediate release of Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and all those who have been detained and sentenced in breach of international law is also called for, as is a thorough investigation of all pending cases of human rights violations such as enforced disappearances, torture and killings.