About the Crimean issues
- The population of Crimea has exercised the right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter through a free, peaceful vote that met all international standards. Attempts to qualify the all-Crimean referendum of March 16, 2014 as illegal and accuse our country of occupation are untenable in the sense of international law, which is confirmed, inter alia, by conclusions of reputable foreign legal scholars, opinions of major politicians, etc.
- Any discussions concerning the reunification of the peninsula with the Russian Federation are meaningless: the Republic of Crimea (RC) and the federal city of Sevastopol are fully integrated into our political, legislative and economic space. Legally and in accordance with its Constitution, Russia exercises state sovereignty on the territory of the Crimea peninsula, including measures to strengthen this country's defense capabilities and conscription.
- The outcome of the elections of the President of the Russian Federation on March 18, 2018 in Crimea confirms the decision of its residents made in 2014. High turnout (71.43% of the electoral list) and Vladimir V. Putin's confident win (92.2% of the votes), as well as the absence of statistically significant support for the alternative Crimean agenda of a number of candidates (which provided, among other things, a repeated plebiscite on the ownership of the peninsula) vividly demonstrate the stable and massive support for the course of the federal center by Crimeans.
- The elections to the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol and 265 municipal councils held on September8,2019, became a convincing evidence of social and political stability in the Russian Crimea. The continuity of power has been fully ensured, along with a significant increase in the representation of Crimean Tatars in the deputy corps – from 100 to 250 deputies.
- "Anti-Crimean" restrictions are absolutely unreasonable and illegitimate, first of all hitting ordinary residents of the peninsula. The practice of visa denials by some countries (and, accordingly, restrictions on movement and participation in international events), as well as the non-recognition of documents on higher education, de facto segregation policy, "punishing" the population of the peninsula for its pro-Russia choice.
- The politically biased nature of the information campaign launched against our country on alleged human rights problems in Crimea is obvious. This can be clearly seen in the example of discussions, at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (November 2020), of a resolution annually initiated by Kiev with the US and EU support, on the human rights situation on the peninsula, – most countries evaded voting or did not support anti-Russian accusations.
- In the RC and the city of Sevastopol, the interests of all national minorities are fully taken into account. Measures of appropriate socio-economic support are adopted and effectively working, and political rehabilitation programs are being implemented. In general, the level and quality of life of the Crimean people have grown significantly in comparison with the "Ukrainian period". At the same time, the government ensures compliance with all international human rights obligations on the peninsula. The multinational population of Crimea fully exercises their rights to freedom of speech and assembly, education in their native language, etc.
- The far-fetched "stove piping" about the vexations put upon Crimean Tatars and impairment of their rights deliberately falsifies the facts of life of this people. A full-fledged Crimean Tatar national and cultural autonomy has been established, the language of this ethnic group is recognized as the state language along with Russian and Ukrainian, and participation of its representatives in local authorities is ensured. Contrary to rumors, local Tatars do not leave anywhere and overwhelmingly give a positive assessment of the situation on the peninsula. With an eye to strengthened interaction with the Crimean authorities, a Shura (Council) of this community headed by Mufti Emirali Ablaev was created in 2018 at an expanded meeting of the Kurultay of the Crimean Tatar people. The Shura is composed on an elective basis from authoritative cultural figures and clergy. In December 2019, a Council for Interethnic and Interfaith Relations was created under the Head of the RC.
- The desire of some countries to represent the "Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people" and its leaders – Mustafa A. Dzhemilev and Refat A. Chubarov - as spokesmen for the interests of the entire Crimean Tatar people, is perplexing. This "body" is not officially registered in any country and has no influence on the peninsula. Currently, there are over 30 Crimean Tatar public associations in Crimea that are not associated with the Mejlis and do not support its anti-Russian course.
- The criminal prosecution of members of organizations banned in Russia (the same "Mejlis" and "Hizb-ut-Tahrir") is carried out in strict compliance with the current Russian legislation and has no hidden political, religious or ethnic agenda. In this regard, the decisions taken by the courts of the Russian Federation as a result of transparent and evidence-based processes, whether they concern individuals or organizations, must be respected by the international community.
- The International Court of Justice confirmed the complete groundlessness of claims of the "oppression" of Crimean Tatars in its preliminary decision on April 19, 2017 in the framework of Ukraine's claim against Russia on the application of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well as did many foreign socio-political figures, including from Western countries, who visited Crimea.
- Allegations that the Russian authorities would hinder visits to the peninsula are absolutely untrue. In 2020, about 90 foreign guests visited the peninsula in order to participate in various official events, including meetings with the regional leaders.
- Russia is committed to fulfilling its international obligations throughout the country, including the RC and the city of Sevastopol. We are ready to conduct a dialogue with relevant interstate structures within the procedures that could be applied and observed by the Russian Federation on its territory, and also accept their missions in Crimea if they are sent within the mandate of a particular organization and in accordance with all procedures applicable to a visit to our country.
With the North Crimean irrigation canal (CIC), historically the main source of drinking water to the peninsula (up to 80-85%), shut off in 2014 by Ukraine, the problem of water supply has sharply aggravated. As a result, the Crimea irrigated agricultural production, erstwhile the major consumer of CIC water, was curtailed. The agrarians in the north and east of the peninsula faced the greatest problems. In 2020, the situation grew by far worse due to a lack of rainfall.
The access of peninsula inhabitants to safe drinking water and sanitation should be considered in the context of human rights. The water blockade of the peninsula by Ukraine directly affects the economic and humanitarian interests of ordinary Сrimeans. In fact, there is a clear collective punishment of people for the true, highest manifestation of democracy – free expression of will in a referendum held in full compliance with the UN Charter, which provides for the right to self-determination.
The Russian side is undertaking purposeful efforts to draw the attention of the UN human rights bodies and control mechanisms to the violation by Ukraine of the rights of Crimeans, as well as of relevant international legal obligations.