An international summit initiated by Ukraine reaffirmed commitments to de-occupy Crimea, seven and a half years after Russian troops occupied the Black Sea peninsula, Euractiv.com reports.
A “countdown for the de-occupation” is running, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in Kyiv, urging international allies to support the effort. Speaking at the first Crimea Platform summit, Zelenskiy vowed to “do everything possible to return Crimea, so that Crimea, together with Ukraine, becomes part of Europe.” “For this, we will use all possible political, legal and first and foremost diplomatic means,” Zelenskiy said, adding that Kyiv needs “effective support at the international level.”
Top officials from 46 countries and blocs took part in the summit, including all EU and each of the 30 NATO members as well as the U.S. A joint declaration, signed by all 46 summit participants, including 14 country leaders, stressed the possibilities for Ukraine to regain full control of the peninsula.
The initiative is a new consultative format launched by Ukraine, aiming to bundle efforts to bring Crimea back under Ukraine’s control and increase international pressure on Russia.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 after a military invasion, but the peninsula is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine, which wants to regain full control.