Lithuania strongly maintains non-recognition policy of illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea - Lithuanian foreign ministry
Lithuania will consistently maintain the non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea, maintain the EU and international sanctions against the Russian Federation, Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the third anniversary of the occupation of Crimea dated February 21, 2017.
"Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. In support of Ukraine, we will consistently maintain the non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea that began three years ago. We will aim to maintain the EU and international sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to the illegal annexation of the peninsula until Russia withdraws from the illegally occupied territory of Ukraine, said in a statement on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
The statement notes numerous violations by Russia, as an occupying force, of human rights and freedoms in the occupied Crimea. "We condemn the ongoing restrictions by Russia, as an occupying power, of fundamental human rights and violations of the freedoms of media, expression, peaceful assembly, religion, and belief, as well as the persecution of the Crimean Tatars."
In addition, strong concerns are expressed over the illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in Crimea, the detention and interrogation of journalists, who speak up for Ukraine's territorial integrity, as well as the ban on international human rights organizations monitoring the human rights situation in Crimea. Growing numbers of Crimean Tatar activists and human rights activists illegally held in detention, acts of intimidation, abduction and torture, the ban of the activity of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, the closure of Ukrainian schools and houses of worship, continued repressions against the Crimean Tatar minority, the entrance ban to Crimea on Crimean Tatar leaders.
Lithuanian Foreign Ministry calls actions of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine as those that pose threats to security and stability in Europe as a whole.
"The illegal actions of the Russian Federation not only undermine bilateral and multilateral agreements on ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, but also pose threats to security and stability in Europe as a whole," a message says.
Alongside this, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry reminds of international condemnation and non-recognition of Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula, in particular of the United Nations General Assembly's resolution No. 68/262 dated March 27, 2014. It also reminds of a resolution on the human rights situation in the autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol adopted by the General Assembly on December 19, 2016 and the International Criminal Court’s preliminary conclusion dated November 14, 2016, designating the situation in Crimea as an international armed conflict, clearly recognize that the military aggression, which was unleashed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea three years ago and currently expanded to eastern Ukraine, constitutes a serious breach of international law, the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.