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 has reiterated “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”.
A declaration from EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, made on behalf of the European Union, said the EU remained firmly committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures, the statement added. 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 said the ongoing militarisation of the peninsula continued to impact the security situation in the Black Sea region, while warning the human rights situation in Crimea had deteriorated further over the past year, in particular the rights of the Crimean Tatars.
The EU demanded the immediate release of all those detained and sentenced in breach of international law, as well as “a thorough investigation of all pending cases of human rights violations such as enforced disappearances, torture and killings.”