Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas: we seek to ensure that the EU keeps the sanctions against Russia over the occupation of Crimea until the peninsula is de-occupied
Press release, 29 May 2017
Photos of the Office of the Seimas (author Olga Posaškova)
On Monday, 29 May 2017, Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and President of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars; Volodymyr Yatsenkivskyi, Ambassador of Ukraine to Lithuania; and Prof. Adas Jakubauskas, Chair of the Union of the Communities of Lithuanian Tatars. At the meeting, the Speaker of the Seimas underlined that Lithuania would further seek to ensure that the European Union upheld the sanctions against Russia over the occupation of Crimea until the peninsula was de-occupied.
“The EU policy of non-recognition of the annexation must be continued and enhanced. Lithuanian politicians and diplomats have been and remain among the most actively engaged on the issue of Crimea,” the Speaker of the Seimas said. Mr Pranckietis observed that Lithuania was actively raising the issue of the occupation of Crimea in bilateral meetings as well as in all international formats, namely, the EU, the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe.
The Speaker of the Seimas also recalled that on 16 March 2017 the Seimas adopted a Resolution on the Condemnation of the Ongoing Occupation and Annexation of Crimea. The Resolution declares that the Seimas expresses its strong support for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the inviolability of its internationally recognised borders; strongly condemns the ongoing occupation and annexation of a part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol – by the Russian Federation; as well as strongly condemns the ruling of the so-called Crimean Supreme Court of 26 April 2016, which found the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, the highest executive and representative authority, to be an extremist organisation and banned its activity.
“We are monitoring closely the situation in Crimea, and we are concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation, constant persecutions, detentions, searches and intimidation of Crimean Tatars, restrictions on the media, and school closures. We are especially concerned about the ban on the Mejlis on the basis of its allegedly pursued extremist activities. We have publicly reacted to this and condemned such action,” Mr Pranckietis said.
Dalia Vencevičienė, Senior Adviser to the Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6016, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]