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Oleksii Reznikov and EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore discussed human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine by the Russian Federation

Published 28 May 2021, at 06:05

On May 27th, 2021, in the framework of the official visit to Brussels, Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine met with the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore.

The Deputy Ministers for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories Ihor Yaremenko and Inna Drahanchuk are part of the delegation from Ukrainian side.

"Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic that the whole world is facing has changed our original plans to welcome you in Ukraine at the end of March 2020. However, we very much look forward to your visit to Ukraine and will do our best to help you visit the administrative border with the temporarily occupied Crimea. Your visit will be of particular importance for the development of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of human rights, as it will be the first visit to Ukraine of such an important institution as the EU Special Representative for Human Rights," noted Oleksii Reznikov.

Within the meeting, the parties discussed in detail the issues of human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular, in the territory of the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city. Oleksii Reznikov stressed that the new EU sanctions regime for human rights violations should become a vital tool for bringing to justice those responsible for ongoing crimes on the occupied peninsula.

Separately, the parties discussed the situation with Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by the Russian Federation, the humanitarian aspects arising from the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and the situation with the coronavirus pandemic in the temporarily occupied territories.

"The local population of the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, as well as Crimean Peninsula is facing artificial interruption of ties with Ukraine. In addition to the fact that the free movement of citizens across the contact line and administrative border is blocked, the occupation regimes continue to block access of the UN agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the OSCE SMM to the non-Government controlled area of Ukraine, including to places of detention of prisoners, who experience inhumane conditions. I am confident that we must force the Russian side to ensure the activities of the monitoring agencies in accordance with international law, the UN Charter, relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, as well as national legislation," said the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Reznikov added that the effective monitoring of the human rights situation on the occupied Ukrainian territories should be carried out only in accordance with the existing international legal standards.

In turn, Eamon Gilmore has noted the continuing support for Ukraine in its struggle for independence and territorial integrity, and stressed the importance of further political and diplomatic efforts to ensure respect for human rights in the occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Oleksii Reznikov thanked the European Union for supporting the establishment of the "Crimean Platform" and willingness to consider the platform's place in the EU's comprehensive policy of non-recognition of the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Reznikov has noted that the issue of Crimea should be on the international agenda on a par with the armed aggression and occupation of the territories of eastern Ukraine.

On the occasion, Oleksii Reznikov briefed Mr. Gilmore on the National Human Rights Strategy for 2021-2023 approved at the end of March of this year.

"The strategy is aimed at uniting society around the values of human rights and freedoms, which are ensured and protected on the basis of the principles of equality and non-discrimination. The document pays special attention to the restoration of the rights of persons whose rights were violated as a result of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine. And of course, recommendations of international organizations in the field of human rights have been taken into account," concluded Reznikov; he also added that the work on establishment of the Ukrainian National Center for Peacebuilding was ongoing, which main task would be to establish a database of human rights violations related to the Russian aggression in the temporarily occupied territories.

Moreover, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine expressed interest in engaging European experts to the development of a program aimed at protection of the rights of children adversely affected as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation.

Oleksii Reznikov also said that Ukraine would hold a Forum for Internally Displaced Persons in autumn.

Eamon Gilmore has confirmed his intentions regarding the visit to Ukraine and noted the importance of establishment of the Center for Peacebuilding.

Let us recall that Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine has been on an official visit to Brussels from May 27th to May 28th, 2021.