On 4 February the European Parliament at its plenary session in Strasbourg adopted a resolution on Crimea, which is aimed at the restoration of the Ukrainian sovereignty. Also europarlamentare supported the initiative of establishing an international format of negotiations «Geneva plus».
According to the President of Petro Poroshenko, this «important decision towards de-occupation of the Ukrainian Crimea».
The resolution States that «the EP welcomes the initiative of Ukraine on the establishment of the international mechanism for negotiations on the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea in the format of «Geneva+», which should include direct participation of the EU; we urge Russia to begin talks with Ukraine and others on de-occupation of Crimea.»
In addition, members of European Parliament recalled that the EU will continue to demand the return of Crimea to Ukraine.
«The restoration of control of Ukraine over the Peninsula is one of the conditions necessary for the resumption of relations of cooperation with the Russian Federation, including suspension of the respective sanctions,» the resolution States.
Also in the EP said about human rights violations on the Peninsula. In the press release of 4 January said that this applies mostly to Crimean Tatars.
«MEPs condemn the unprecedented level of human rights violations committed against the Crimean people, primarily Tatars, the indigenous people of Crimea, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, Association and peaceful Assembly.
They point to the fact that Russia, as an occupying power, is responsible for the security of all populations and needs, together with de facto local authorities to investigate effectively, impartially and transparently, all cases of disappearance, torture and human rights violations by the police and paramilitary forces on the Crimean Peninsula since February 2014″.
Also the European Parliament expressed regret over the closure in the Crimea of the ATR channel and urged the European Commission to allocate funds to ensure the functioning of «this and other media». The EP «considers the closure of the Crimean Tatar schools and classes and the restriction of the use of language is a serious violation of the fundamental rights of community members». This writes Tatiana Odd in the article «the European Parliament has approved the international negotiations in the format «Geneva plus» across Crimea» in the newspaper «KP in Ukraine».
The EP resolution, which links the lifting of sanctions against Russia the return of Crimea to Ukraine is of great importance, as it strengthens our position and gives a clear signal to the entire European community: the EU has not changed.
It is very important that the de-occupation of the Peninsula remains on the agenda of the European Union, which clearly States: the EU does not recognize the occupation and considers it illegal. It postulates that should become a roadmap for all representatives of the Executive power of the European Union.
Thanks to these clear and unambiguous language, I think very few people in the European Commission dares to raise the issue of reducing the intensity of sanctions over Crimea or their withdrawal. On the contrary, the resolution can be a reason for increased sanctions as the situation with human rights in Crimea remains terrible.
Therefore, this document is a huge political positive. The only thing that got me disappointed in it, it is a call for Russia to start Ukraine negotiations on de-occupation. Me this call seems very naive. I don’t think this statement can be taken seriously: not the Russian Federation has occupied Crimea, to give.
Need to continue strengthening sanctions against Russia. The format of Geneva plus should include not only the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum, but also the European Union as an institution, as well as everyone who is ready to assist Ukraine in the rapid de-occupation of occupied Crimea.
Today’s resolution should be the first document on this topic, and it should be followed by others with a stricter wording concerning the strengthening of pressure on Russia.
Unfortunately, all the formats in which Russia, are really her only a screen that allow it to solve problems, and to continue to focus on the situation. So any discussions with the Russian Federation seem to me to be counterproductive. I guess it would be much better if the West has formed a catalogue of requirements and made it clear Russia, than it will result in their failure. That would be truly effective, writes Volodymyr Ohryzko in the article «the West will force Moscow to return the Crimea» in the edition «New time».
The question of why the Ukrainian authorities «woke up» so late, is attributed to the category of rhetorical. I would not like to think about the top leadership of the state as candid about the cynics who remember the sore on the threshold of the elections or because of the loss of rating. Or try the battle for the Crimea (or its imitation) to offset the disappointment from the lack of reform. Reasoning on this subject will not compensate Ukraine for loss time. Therefore more productive to focus on what offers to make Poroshenko.
So, the format of the «Geneva plus». Apparently, we are talking about a broad international coalition that will be formed for the comprehensive promotion of the return of Crimea to Ukrainian sovereignty. Is this good or bad? Of course, such a plan is quite positive. Another matter how it works out. Involvement in the negotiations of the United States is an important step — as a reminder the USA, this country (along with Ukraine, Russia, France and the UK) is a guarantor of the Budapest Memorandum.
However, in this case, it is difficult to resist in order not to accuse the Ukrainian authorities have a very long delay — now in America’s ongoing presidential campaign, and the local establishment is not in the priorities of Ukraine and its territorial integrity. However the main thing is not it. The main problem associated with the «Geneva+», is the unwillingness of Russia to discuss the Crimea in one of the diplomatic format. The press-Secretary of Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said on behalf of his patron, that the question of Crimea, Russia has closed once and for all.
Is it possible to force Russia to participate in «Geneva plus»? Not so long ago, Jeb Bush, one of the presidential candidates in the USA, called Vladimir Putin «a bully». But what is the «hooligan» speech and «bad behavior», which «will reach» to Putin and convince him? Now it is only the language of sanctions, another «dialect» he doesn’t understand. However, sanctions are «tied» to the fulfillment (or not) by Russia of the Minsk agreements. And in these documents does not include the Crimea.
So if the Western world decides that this agreement is executed by both parties, there is a high likelihood that the sanctions from Russia could be lifted. What will be with Crimea? Who knows, because in the past two years, pressure on Russia has become very «Donbass» motivation. The civilized world punish and punish high-handed «bully» because of the war in the East, namely the war and the ceasefire is the core of any negotiations.
Meanwhile, primarily Western countries imposed sanctions due to the annexation of the Peninsula. First the Kremlin struck the United States — they announced the sanctions on 6 March 2014, then joined them and the European States. And the UN resolution on support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine of 27 March 2014 was as dictated unlawful seizure of Crimea. Prior to the proclamation of «sovereignty» of the «DPR» had another 10 days (LNR — month), and the center of attention of the international community was the Crimea, and not the separatist game in the East of Ukraine. But, sadly, it is the Crimea, which had started international support of Ukraine runs the risk of losing it.
However, if Poroshenko and his foreign policy team will be able to create an international coalition with the return of the Crimea, will Putin then for the second circle of hell — now in the form of sanctions over the occupation of the Peninsula? Now to this question there is no answer, but almost every expert-foreign Affairs specialist you will repeat the thesis, which has already become a kind of stamp: the world is tired of the Ukrainian-Russian war. Tired, perhaps, so that a separate round of struggle for the Crimea may be.
European countries have their own worries. This radical Islamism, and the threat of terrorist attacks like Paris, and the invasion of refugees has swept Europe. This and pressure from the business community and large corporations, who also suffer from anti-Russian economic measures. This internal Subversion of right-wing movements, mainly sponsored by Moscow, which recently cast a new piece, trying to present Russia as a «Christian stronghold», which is opposed to the Islamic threat.
«Of course, Geneva is a lovely city … And the format is good. Much better than Minsk. At least the reputation of Switzerland as a neutral country, unlike Belarus, is undeniable. But how realistic and need to create a new international negotiating format and highlight the problem of Russian aggression against Ukraine the issue of Crimea? … The fact that Russia is already involved in the so-called Normandy and Minsk formats, and suggests the answer to the question whether «Geneva+», — said Ukrainian diplomat Boris Yaremenko. This writes Natalia Lebid of the article «Geneva plus, Minsk minus» in the newspaper «Ukraina Moloda».
On 5 February. Press review. Will I get back the Crimea to Ukraine, «Geneva plus» 05.02.2016