1437th meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 15 June 2022
1. The European Union welcomes the Secretary General’s report on the human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ukraine. The EU is convinced of the importance of this issue for the political agenda of the Council of Europe and encourages the Secretary General to continue the submission of such reports.
2. Regrettably, our discussion today takes place against the backdrop of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, which we condemn in the strongest possible terms. We urge Russia to immediately and unconditionally cease its military actions and withdraw all its troops and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, including the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula. We also reiterate our call on Belarus to stop enabling the Russian aggression and to abide by its international obligations.
3. We express solidarity with Ukrainians, including Crimean Tatars. We stand with civic activists, journalists, human rights defenders and defence lawyers, who continue to oppose Russia’s illegal annexation of the peninsula at great personal risk.
4. Eight years on from the illegal annexation of Crimea, we continue to condemn the ongoing and systemic violations and abuses of human rights committed by the Russian Federation and brutal repressions against all those who have the courage to peacefully resist the illegal annexation.
5. In this regard we urge the Russian Federation to ensure that all persons belonging to ethnic and religious communities in the peninsula, including ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, are fully able to enjoy their human rights and given the possibility to maintain and develop their culture, education, identity and cultural heritage traditions, which are currently severely threatened by the illegal anexation. The ban on the activities of the Mejlis, a self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, must be reversed, the prosecution of their leaders, including arbitrary detentions and bans from entering Crimea, stopped and their sentences handed down in absentia repealed.
6. We condemn all attempts by the Russian Federation to forcibly integrate the illegally annexed peninsula into Russia, including the automatic imposition of Russian citizenship, illegal election campaigns and voting, population census, forcible change of the demographic structure of the population of Crimea and suppression of national identity.
7. The EU reiterates its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We will remain committed to fully implementing the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and of any attempts to alter the status of other parts of Ukrainian territory.
The following countries align with this statement: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom