Russia’s land grab in Crimea in 2014 caused a major crisis in international politics, contributed to the unraveling of standing and authority of international organizations,
undermined efforts of the international community to strengthen a rules based world order.
Russian military presence in Crimea has more than doubled. The peninsula is inundated with multiple weapon systems, including nuclear capable ones. Consequently, new
security threats emerged in the Black Sea and the wider Mediterranean region.
Following Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea the situation on the peninsula deteriorated in every sphere. Negative trends vary from the mentioned militarization to
changing demographic structure of the population of Crimea, from political persecution to irresponsible environmental policies, from barbaric treatment of UNESCO world
heritage sites to mass indoctrination, from systemic ethnic and religious discrimination to expulsion of independent media from the peninsula.
The aim of Russia’s disruptive policy is to achieve legitimization of its attempted annexation of Crimea, to cement the status quo and to project its military power from
Crimea in the Azov-Black seas region and Mediterranean.
The first response of the international community was set out by the UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/262 “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, which unequivocally demonstrated
overwhelming support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and outlined the international policy vis-à-vis Crimea under Russian occupation.
Concerted actions of the international community based on the long-term vision are urgently needed to reverse the negative consequences of the occupation and attempted
annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and to ensure restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Establishment of a new consultation and coordination format – the Crimean Platform – is aimed at elaboration of practical approaches to achieve de-occupation of Crimea and
its return to Ukraine.
The Crimean Platform is a flexible international format to provide long-term vision of de-occupation of Crimea, consolidation of international efforts and synergy of
intergovernmental, parliamentary and expert levels.
Main goals and activity areas
Consolidation of policy of non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea
Participants of the Crimean Platform will deliberate the main common elements of non-recognition policy and come up with the memorandum/guiding principles drawing the
common “red lines” in this regard.
The participants of the Platform will abide by the guidelines, exchange information about potential breaches, elaborate preventive measures, use their diplomatic contacts to urge
third countries to follow suit.
The following elements are to be discussed:
– a ban on the formal recognition of the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation;
– ban on visits of official persons to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine) and any statements that may be interpreted as
recognizing the change of their status;
– discouragement of attendance by the participating states’ nationals and entities of events in the occupied Crimea;
– a prohibition for foreign consular officers in the Russian Federation to perform any functions with respect to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of
– introduction of a specific ‘Crimea clause’ in any new international documents with the Russian Federation excluding their application with respect to the
Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine);
– state agencies should not invoke mutual legal assistance treaties with the Russian Federation in respect to the territory of Crimea;
– a ban on imports of goods originating from Crimea unless they have Ukrainian certificates of origin;
– a prohibition of any investments to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine);
– a ban on providing tourism services in Crimea as well as other services, enabling or supporting tourism in the temporarily occupied peninsula;
– a prohibition of trade in goods, technologies and services with companies from Crimea and Sevastopol as well as the Russian occupation authorities;
– a ban on provision of technical assistance, maintenance, insurance, financing, brokering, construction or engineering services related to all infrastructure,
transportation, scientific projects in the occupied Crimea.
Sanctions: proper implementation and strengthening
The participants of the Crimean Platform will work together on consolidation of existing restrictive measures and their enforcement. They will also discuss synchronisation of
sanction lists and cooperation in monitoring application of sanctions in force and closing loopholes for their circumvention.
The participants of the Crimean Platform will cooperate with a view to strengthening or expanding sanctions in response to:
– violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the temporarily occupied Crimea;
– violation of international humanitarian law (illegal “elections” and “referendums”, forceful conscription to the Russian armed forces, change of the demographic
structure of Crimea etc.);
– militarization of Crimea and adjacent waters of the Azov and Black Seas: o embargo on sale of arms and related materiel, dual-use goods and technology, ban on provision of respective services;
– o sanctions against Russian military enterprises involved in the development/modernization of the Russian military forces and facilities in the occupied Crimea;
– illegal expropriation of Ukraine’s state and private enterprises; violations of prohibition on entering officially closed seaports and airports in the occupied Crimea;
– illegal deep-water drilling and oil and gas production in the occupied Black Sea waters;
– illegal development of infrastructure in the occupied Crimea.
Regional security: impact of the militarization of Crimea on security in Eastern Europe, wider Black sea region and Mediterranean, including freedom of navigation
The participants of the Crimean Platform will consider joint action on countering militarization of Crimea and Russia’s military expansion on Europe’s southern flank,
posing growing security and hybrid threats to wider regional security: Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Azov-Black seas region, the Mediterranean, the Middle East.
The participants of the Crimean Platform will discuss countering the activities of the Russian Federation that undermine the principle of freedom of navigation, disrupt supply
chains and thus adversely affect, in particular, the stability of international food security.
To achieve these goals the participants will combine the expertise and diplomatic efforts through following steps:
– supporting the establishment of the annual Security Forum for Azov, Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean and actively participating in its activities;
– conducting regular joint expert events within the framework of the Crimean Platform to achieve synergy of analytic/monitoring capacity and to provide
extensive information for policy/decision makers;
– engaging in dialogue on the needs and ways to enhance the NATO presence in the region;
– putting the freedom of navigation challenge in the Azov-Black sea region high on international agenda;
– supporting decisions of international institutions deploring disrupting activities of the Russian Federation in the region.
Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law
The participants of the Crimean Platform will take joint action to enhance monitoring and exchange of information about the violations of human rights and norms of international
humanitarian law; protect Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar identity as well as cultural heritage in the temporarily occupied Crimea.
To this end, the participants will consider:
introducing a mechanism of prompt and coordinated reaction of states and international organisations to respective serious violations;
ensuring the high level of publicity for cases of serious human rights violation on political level and in the media as a mean of protection of victims and prevention
of further violations;
enhancing monitoring of the situation to provide decision-makers with the necessary data on application of restrictive measures on those responsible for
serious violations of human rights and norms of international humanitarian law;
devising ways to protect cultural heritage sites located in the temporary occupied Crimea using the UNESCO tools and mechanisms.
Mitigation of adverse economic and environmental impact of the occupation of Crimea on the region
The participants of the Crimean Platform will engage in enhanced monitoring of the long-term environmental threats to the Black Sea region and beyond, posed by the activities
of the Russian occupation authorities, including:
destruction of nature reserves;
illegal exploitation of industrial facilities;
use of waste of potential chemical and nuclear hazard in major construction projects, endangering the waters of the Black Sea;
realisation of major infrastructural projects without proper environmental risk assessment;
renovation and modernisation of Soviet-era nuclear storage facilities.
New infrastructure projects such as construction of the so-called Kerch Bridge and the Tavryda highway have left an excessive environmental footprint on their immediate
surroundings. For one the bridge affected the natural flow of waters between the Azov and Black seas, environmental consequences of which are yet to be assessed. In the
course of the construction of the Tavryda highway millions of trees and bushes were cleared thus causing huge damage to the delicate Crimean fauna.
The occupying authorities use sands polluted with toxic radioactive waste from a metallurgical plant near Kerch, which presents a danger to the environment not only in
Crimea but also in the wider Black Sea region. This issue definitely merits a thorough consideration by the international community.
Ukraine considers creating an Investment fund for the regions along the administrative line with Crimea. The task of the fund will be to mitigate socio-economic damage resulted
from the occupation of Crimea, to preserve the links with the citizens of Ukraine in the occupied territories, foster development of economic and social infrastructure of
communities of regions alongside the administrative line, meet the needs of the IDPs, develop green economy and create a model basis for future reintegration of Crimea. This
will include investments in:
social infrastructure (developing medical facilities, administrative services, housing for IDPs);
cultural and education needs;
projects to foster green economy.
Synergy of governments, parliaments and civil society
The Crimean Platform aims at flexibly gathering under its umbrella thematic events and initiatives on the Crimean issue within international organizations, other internationalgovernmental and non-governmental fora.
The Platform’s activities are envisaged to be carried out at all levels:
– Heads of State and Government;
– Ministers of Foreign Affairs;
– Members of Parliaments;
To coordinate the Platform’s activities, a political/coordination committee consisting of representatives of diplomatic missions / embassies of participating states /
organizations in Kyiv and led by the MFA of Ukraine will meet on ad hoc basis.
Subject to the agreement of participating states, additional working groups on practical issues of the Platform’s agenda may be created. Depending on the issue, such working
groups may bring together experts from the capitals (from MFAs, other governmental bodies, NGOs, research institutions) as well as representatives of the embassies in Kyiv
and the MFA of Ukraine.
Other ways of communication on particular issues (e.g., through the Special Representative of the MFA of Ukraine on Sanctions) might be also considered as
The international expert network will provide information and analytical support for the Platform’s activities and contribute to public visibility of the Platform. The network will
consist of Ukrainian and international experts from civil society organizations, think tanks, research centers, academic institutions dealing with the Crimean file.
The expert network will organize thematic conferences, prepare and publish reports, offer recommendations on specific aspects of the Platform’s work.
An inaugural Summit, which is scheduled to take place in Kyiv on 23 August 2021, will launch the Crimean Platform and adopt a Charter outlining the vision for further
consolidation of the Crimean policy.
1. What is expected from states participating in the Crimean Platform? What will be the next steps after the Summit and adoption of the Charter?
– reconfirm the commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders;
– reiterate the stance on non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation;
– participate in the Summit at the highest level;
– support the Charter of the Crimean platform;
as well as to consider:
– taking part in the activities on main tracks (non-recognition; sanctions; security and freedom of navigation; human rights and international humanitarian law; economy
– taking lead in one of the activity areas;
– organizing, co-organizing and taking active part in thematic events on national and international level, side-events during main meetings/sessions of the international
– initiating, co-sponsoring, voting for documents at the international organizations on the Crimean issue, as well as lobbying third parties to support such documents.
2. What is the added value of the Crimean Platform for Ukraine?
– provide long-term vision of de-occupation of Crimea;
– consolidate attention and resources of international community, distracted in current turbulent times;
– create synergy of efforts within and between intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and non-governmental levels.
3. What is the added value of the Crimean Platform for international community?
– the attempted annexation of Crimea is the most prominent recent example of undermining the rules based order globally and in Europe. Return of the peninsula
to Ukraine will contribute to restoring respect for established norms of international law thus strengthening international peace and security;
– ending the Russian occupation will remove the mounting hard and hybrid security threats in the Euro-Atlantic area, which are caused by the continuing militarization
of the peninsula, thus stabilizing the security situation in the region;
– the occupied Crimea is synonymous with severe human rights abuses and IHL violations. The international community should stand firm in defending core values
and principles that define modern societies.
4. What is the ultimate goal of the Crimean Platform?
– the ultimate goal of the Crimean Platform is the de-occupation of Crimea, its return to Ukraine and compensation for damage caused by the temporary occupation.
– in broader sense the goal of the Platform’s activities is to restore respect for norms and principles of international law, to reinstate the rules-based order and to ensure resolute rejection of any attempt to change internationally recognized borders through the use of force;
– considering the dire human rights situation in the occupied Crimea, liberating the peninsula will put an end to human sufferings;
– resolution of the Crimean case and the peninsula’s return to Ukraine will eliminate the root of disruptive activities of the Russian Federation in the regions of Azov and
Black Seas, Eastern Mediterranean, military and hybrid threats to wider regional security and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
5. What will be the possible formats of Platform’s activity?
– Summits at the level of heads of state and government;
– meetings at the level of MFA ministers;
– parliamentary meeting on the margins of sessions of the CoE, OSCE, NATO Parliamentary assemblies;
– coordination committee at the level of representatives of diplomatic missions of participating states and organizations in Kyiv + MFA of Ukraine (general
– ad hoc or permanent working groups (for example, on non-recognition policy, on sanctions, on security and freedom of navigation, on violation of human rights and
international humanitarian law, on environmental threats etc.) Depending on the issue, such working groups, in addition to the representatives of diplomatic missions,
may bring together experts from the capitals;
– international expert network;
– a dedicated secretariat is not envisioned, practical coordination work to be done by
missions in Kyiv and the MFA of Ukraine.
6. How people in Crimea will benefit from the launch of the Crimean Platform?
– increased international attention serves as a factor in preventing further violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, political oppression, torture, inhuman
or degrading treatment by Russian occupation authorities;
– projects to keep ties between the temporary occupied peninsula and mainland Ukraine will be aimed at ensuring access to administrative services in Ukraine for
Crimean residents, providing them with broader educational opportunities, preserving cultural identities for communities under occupation;
– de-occupation of Crimea and its reintegration into Ukraine will open for Crimean residents currently closed venues for participation in European and global economic,
trade, scientific, sport and cultural processes.
7. What is the contribution of Ukraine into the Crimean Platform cause?
– Ukraine coined the idea and initiated creation of new international format which serves not only Ukrainian interests, but the interests of the international community
with regard to protection of rules-based order, as well as interests of states of the Black Sea and Mediterranean region;
– Ukraine provides vision and outline of the Crimean policy for consideration of international partners;
– Ukraine together with international partners makes voluntary financial contributions necessary for the functioning of the international expert network;-
Ukraine provides governmental and non-governmental analytical data and expertise with regard to threats posed by the temporary occupation of Crimea.
8. Which partners expressed readiness to take part in the Crimean Platform?
– Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Slovenia, the European Union have expressed support for the initiative to create a Crimean platform;
– the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Georgia, Turkey announced their readiness to
take an active part in the work of the Platform.
9. Will the Russian Federation be invited?
– Russia will be invited to participate in the Crimean platform to start dialogue on de-occupation of Crimea.
10. Have you considered the role of the expert community? How cooperation with the expert community is organized?
– Creation of the International Expert network of the Crimean Platform is underway.
80 Ukrainian and International experts expressed interest in joining it.
– A special fund to financially support research on the Crimean track is envisaged. It will be financed through voluntary contributions.
– Researches, reports and recommendations will be presented to governments, international organizations to inform their activities and during public events in
Ukraine and abroad.
– A quarterly digest on recent developments in Crimea under occupation will be prepared by the network.
11. What events are planned for 2021 (in addition to the Summit on the 23-d of August)?
– International Expert Network of the Crimean Platform meeting (on the margins of the Summit);
– Black Sea Security Conference (tentatively in autumn 2021);
– coordinating committee meeting(s) at the level of representatives of diplomatic missions in Kyiv + MFA of Ukraine – to agree on the Summit Charter.
12. How do you plan to avoid overlaps / duplication with the existing formats of cooperation on Crimea (including in the EU, UN, NATO, CE, UNESCO, OSCE etc.)?
– the Crimean Platform will not duplicate the work carried out within existing formats of cooperation;
– its aim is to provide more coordination of international efforts at different fora;
– possibility to meet ad hoc in the Crimean Platform’s format in different international organizations in order to discuss initiatives etc (subject to the agreement of
13. Who will be invited to the Summit?-Invitations will be addressed to the heads of state and governments, as well as to leaders of the international and regional organizations and their parliamentary assemblies.
14. Will there be any financial obligations?
– No mandatory financial contributions.
– A fund for expert network and Investment fund will be filled through voluntary contributions.
15. What are the basic documents of the Crimean Platform?
– A Charter is expected to be adopted at the Summit.
– The Charter should reconfirm the key principles of international policy on Crimea such as non-recognition of attempted annexation of Crimea, countering
militarization, using the instruments of the EU, UN, CoE and OSCE to overcome the consequences of temporary occupation.
16. What level of institutionalization of the Crimean Platform do you envisage?
– No formal Secretariat of the Crimean Platform is foreseen.