Ukraine seeks permanent international monitoring of Crimea – Klimkin
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry will insist on permanent monitoring of the situation in Russia-occupied Crimea by representative offices of international organizations in accordance with the Geneva Convention, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.
"We worked with international organizations, primarily with the Council of Europe [CoE], and we secured, despite Russia's resistance, [decisions] to send a preliminary mission to Crimea. We have agreed with Thorbjorn Jagland [CoE Secretary General] that this will be the first step. But I will press for a conventional mechanism in Crimea," Klimkin told Interfax on Wednesday.
Since the year began, Kyiv has been trying to lend a new dynamic to the issue of retaking Crimea and is taking a number of steps in this direction, in particular, it will insist on a broader Geneva format, the minister said.
"We saw Jagland's statement on Russia's violation of the human rights convention, we saw clear reports by international organizations regarding Crimea. And it is based on this that we must build a discussion format for the Crimea problem: we believe it should a 'Geneva plus' format since you cannot exclude Turkey as a serious player and campaigner for Crimean Tatars' rights," Klimkin said.
The current visit to Crimea by CoE Secretary General's special envoy Gerard Stoudmann is "the fist step where one person, a special representative of the CoE secretary general, goes to Crimea for the first time to look at the situation," the minister said.
"But we believe there should also be the CoE European commissioner for human rights and the monitoring must be permanent. This is what we must come to and that is crucial," Klimkin said.
It was reported that at an economic forum in Davos on January 20 Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko announced Ukraine's plans to create a forum similar to the Geneva format, which would include Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States, to launch dialogue over Crimea's return.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded by saying on January 26 that Russia is not in talks with anyone over return of Crimea, which is a Russian territory, so there is nothing to return.