The President of Ukraine met with the Mission’s team: briefly the major

On 13 February 2020 the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Сrimea Anton Korynevych and his deputies Darya Svyrydova and Tamila Tasheva.

The meeting began with the discussion of the situation with children in the temporarily occupied AR of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. The Permanent Representative informed the President about the main difficulties facing the children in the occupied territory, including the political prisoners’ children, orphan children, militarization of education and involvement of children and youth into the so-called “Junior Army”. Anton Korynevych passed Volodymyr Zelensky a painting by the daughter of political prisoner Uzeir Abdulayev and children’s letters collected by the initiative “Crimean Childhood”.

The President of Ukraine noted that the work with children and young people in Crimea is a key challenge and it is necessary to remove impediments to maintain communication with them, simplify their entrance the Ukrainian higher educational establishments and promote their residence in the territory, governed by Ukraine. The Head of the State has ordered to develop the Sate Program, which will promote the retaining of the Ukrainian citizenship by the young people from the occupied territories..

Volodymyr Zelensky supported the Mission’s initiative to create a special fund in support of the talented Crimeans, which would grant their development, study and participation in the international events.

During the meeting, the President announced that significant efforts on two fronts were being put to release our citizens, particularly release of the citizens of Ukraine, imprisoned in the ungoverned territories of Donbas and release of illegally imprisoned citizens, including Crimean Tartars in the occupied Crimea and the Russian Federation.

According to the Head of the State, it is very important to maintain contacts with people, residing in the occupied territory. We need to demonstrate that our state remembers and takes care of them, our Government is doing its utmost that their permanent residence under the occupation does not affect their connection with Ukraine. First of all, it is promoting and facilitating the registration and issuance of ID cards, access to administrative services for Crimeans and procedures of crossing the ABL.

Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized a successful implementation of the infrastructure projects at the administrative borderline with the temporarily occupied peninsula, which significantly improve security, and work of the service zones at the checkpoints. A great deal remains to be done: repair of roads in the direction from the checkpoints to the nearest human settlements of Kherson region including regional roads from the adjacent to the peninsula districts to the city of Kherson; configure the quality coverage of mobile and Internet communications; attraction of investors that would bring about job opportunities;shelter for IDPs and Crimean Tartars as well.

The issue regarding the Crimean Tartars as the Indigenous People of Ukraine was also discussed. Now the Office of the President is considering the ways of enhancing the strategic interaction with the Mejlis of Crimean Tartar People, including meetings with their representatives, which are in Ukraine and those from the temporarily occupied Crimea. The President stressed on the importance of the legislative regulation of the status of the Indigenous People, including Crimean Tartars and protection of their collective rights.

In addition, the issue of public information operations in the temporarily occupied territory was also discussed. The Permanent Representative drew attention of the Head of the State to the problem, arisen due to the blocking of Ukrainian satellite signals thus denying the residents of the occupied Crimea to watch Ukrainian TV channels and get any information from the Ukrainian media. Volodymyr Zelensky said that it was national security issue to be considered at the highest State level. He also informed that a new state channel for the temporarily occupied territories will be launched. The channel will not only broadcast social and political content but will include cultural and entertainment programs that the residents of Crimea no longer felt a lack of information.

Also, Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed his participation in the events, dedicated  to the sixth anniversary of the occupation of the AR of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, particularly in the VI International Forum “Age of Crimea”, scheduled to be held on 26 February in the NSC “Olimpiyskiy”.