Ukraine’s foreign minister welcomes EU sanctions against Russia for ‘elections’ in occupied Crimea
The Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union has decided to expand the EU sanctions list for the illegal organization and holding of Russian parliamentary elections in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Feb. 9.
He said that another five people were put on the sanctions list.
“Crimea is Ukraine. Every violation of international law by Russia will be punished,” Kuleba tweeted, repeating Ukraine’s position that Russia continues to violate accepted international norms with its occupation of the peninsula.
Elections for the Russian parliament, the State Duma, were held on Sept. 17-19 last year.
Many residents of non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donbas region and Crimea were allowed to take part in elections, due to the Russia’s “passportization” policy of providing Russian passports, and citizenship, to Ukrainian nationals living in these territories.
The illegality of such actions stems from the unrecognized status of Crimea’s annexation by Russia – meaning that, in the eyes of the international community, the people living there are largely Ukrainian nationals, not Russian citizens.
On Sept. 22, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, adopted a statement deeming the participation of people in Crimea and the non-government-controlled parts of the Donbas in the State Duma elections to be illegitimate.
The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other countries have confirmed that they too do not recognize elections held in occupied Crimea.
Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, claiming to have annexed it as a new Russian province under the Russian federal government. The Kremlin has not recognized two self-declared “republics” in the non-government-controlled part of Ukraine’s Donbas region.
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