President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands for increasing the number of platforms where the issue of de-occupation of Crimea will be discussed, in particular at the international level.
“This is our land, our people, and perhaps these platforms are really not enough to talk about Crimea. Because in the Minsk process, to be honest, the issue of Crimea is not raised,” the Head of State said at a press conference in Kyiv.
According to him, in the framework of the Minsk process at the meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group there is a list of issues to be discussed in accordance with the signed package of the Minsk agreements.
“There is no issue of Crimea there. I agree that this is unfair,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy added.
At the same time, the President stressed that the Crimean issue is at the top of his agenda. In particular, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he holds meetings with representatives of the Crimean Tatar people. Another such meeting took place recently, at which a consolidated decision was made to establish a working group to deal with the issues of the Crimean Tatars and the peninsula.
In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that he raises the issue of Crimea and the situation with Crimean Tatars at bilateral meetings with leaders of other countries. The President noted that the return of the Crimean peninsula under the Ukrainian flag is one of the conditions for lifting sanctions against Russia – along with the de-occupation of Donbas.
“Despite the fact that some European countries have linked them only to Donbas and some think that their withdrawal is possible after Donbas returns to Ukraine, the United States, Canada and most EU countries, including Germany and France, always raise this issue. They all understand and speak publicly about sanctions policy, and Pompeo (US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – ed.) recently told me: sanctions will not be lifted until Crimea returns to Ukraine,” the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said that he raised the issue of Crimea during the recent talks in the Normandy format, but Russia tried to avoid discussing it.