We were surprised by the statement on Crimea of 18 March that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy made on behalf of the European Union. It is permeated with arrogant disrespect for over 2 million people who live in Russia’s Crimean Federal District.
Judging from the text, Brussels refuses to see the real changes for the better that have occurred in the lives of those living in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as constituent entities of Russia, which they supported by overwhelming majority two years ago in a free and democratic referendum after 23 years of what Crimeans often describe as "lost years" as part of Ukraine. Apparently, Brussels does not understand that if the events had followed a different scenario, a huge number of refugees from Crimea would have added to the millions of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa whose situation in Europe is increasingly reminiscent of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Instead of repeating again and again the unfounded allegations about some “human rights violations” and “the annexation of Crimea,” EU officials would be well served by finding out more about the real situation in Russia’s Crimea based on objective facts and direct communication with the Crimean people.
In addition, it would be well advised to pay attention, above all, to the real violations of Crimeans’ rights caused by the water, transport, energy and food blockade imposed on the peninsula by Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar nationalists and radicals with full connivance of the Ukrainian authorities. The European Union itself, which pays lip service to the fate and rights of the Crimean people, is acting clearly at odds with its own “values and principles.” This is evidenced by the imposition of arbitrary restrictive discriminatory economic and visa-related measures, which are nothing but collective punishment for all of the residents on the peninsula, including Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Karaims, Krymchaks, Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Italians and other Crimean ethnic groups for their voluntary decision. As a matter of fact, for the first time since World War II, Brussels has taken the path of restoring totalitarian practices, for which there is no room in today’s world.
On this backdrop, the EU’s call upon UN member states to impose sanctions on Russia appears hypocritical. We reiterate that Crimea and Sevastopol are an inalienable part of the Russian Federation and the methods of political and economic pressure that the EU has been actively using recently are absolutely futile and can do nothing to change this fact.
18 March 2016