Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s comment on Ukrainian authorities’ planned action against Russian Crimea
Ukrainian officials remain agitated in the run-up to the seventh anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Last week, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba announced three “pillars” on which the policy of “returning” Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine would hinge. This implies a new “de-occupation” strategy, approved by the National Security and Defence Council, the Crimean Platform initiative and the “reinstatement of international law.”
It is safe to say that it is impossible to stand for a long time on such shaky “pillars.” No “strategies” for working covertly against Crimea’s residents, including sanctions and the water-supply blockade, can win back their trust. No “platforms” for discussing Kiev’s “phantom pains” with other countries will convince the people of Crimea to change their decision, made at the 2014 referendum. No discussions of alleged violations of international standards will abolish their legitimate right to self-determination.
All Kiev’s efforts to return Crimea to Ukraine are illegitimate and cannot be perceived as anything other than a threat of aggression against two regions of the Russian Federation. We would like to recall once again that we will consider the involvement of any countries and organisations in such actions, including the Crimean Platform initiative, as an unfriendly move with regard to the Russian Federation and as a direct encroachment upon its territorial integrity.
Today, the Kiev authorities are shamelessly trampling upon international law with the support of their Western handlers. Their policy of forced all-out Ukrainisation, the encouragement of neo-Nazism, the violation of the linguistic, cultural and educational rights of ethnic minorities and Russian-speaking citizens, the fight against dissent, the propaganda of Russophobia and media censorship – all this distances Russia’s Crimea and the regions and citizens of Ukraine from Kiev still further.
We are urging Ukraine and other states supporting Ukrainian “initiatives” to respect the legitimate choice of Crimean residents and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.