Zelenski advocates “de-occupation” of Crimea as a milestone for the whole of Europe

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The president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, has advocated this Tuesday before dozens of international leaders for the “de-occupation” of Crimea, an objective for which his government continues to work more than eight years after the annexation of this peninsula to Russia and that, in his opinion, would mean “a historic step against war in Europe”.

Zelenski has headed the Crimean Platform, a diplomatic initiative with which Kiev wants to highlight the situation of a peninsula that, for Ukraine, “is not just a territory, it is not just a chip in the game of geopolitics.”

“For Ukraine, Crimea is part of our people, of our society,” said Zelenski, who went back in time to recall that Kiev’s pulse with Moscow did not begin in February this year, the day his counterpart Vladimir Putin gave the order to launch a military invasion.

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The “degradation” of Russia, according to Zelenski, began with the seizure of Crimea in 2014. The Ukrainian leader has thanked that “many people around the world” did not remain “silent then, but at the same time he has warned that there were others who remained silent, “pretending not to notice what was happening.”

“And that, in my opinion, has been one of the main reasons for everything that is happening now in Ukraine and in the world,” he has lamented, without pointing to anyone in particular.

Zelenski has also stressed that the peninsula is, as of today, a key point for the Russian forces’ offensive, insofar as some 750 cruise missiles would have been launched from Crimea, which “have destroyed hundreds of civilian targets.”

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However, he has emphasized that “Crimea was and is Ukrainian” and, as such, “will be part of the European Union” in the future, once Ukraine completes an accession for which there are no deadlines yet.

Tuesday’s virtual summit, heir to another one held in August 2021, has served Ukraine to obtain the explicit support of half a hundred international leaders for its demands. For all of them, the annexation of Crimea was “illegal” and a violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity.

They urge in a joint statement an end to the “temporary” occupation of the peninsula and criticize the use of Crimea as a military base to attack other targets in southern Ukraine. They call on Russia to fulfill its international obligations and ask, in the meantime, to maintain “pressure” on Moscow.

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