Russia annexed Crimea and transformed the peninsula into a military base, which poses a threat to Ukraine, as well as to the EU and NATO countries. It was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
"Russia is also intensifying the militarization of Crimea. The peninsula, known as Ukraine’s resort area before the occupation, has been transformed into a Russian military base, which poses a threat not only to Ukraine but also to other countries in the region, including many NATO and EU-member states," the message reads.
The Foreign Ministry added that Russia systemically violates international law and human rights, uses brutal repression against all those, who have the courage to resist the occupation.
"The national, cultural, and religious rights of ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are being curtailed, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is being persecuted, the freedom of speech is suppressed and the independent media are destroyed," Ukraine's Foreign Ministry notes.
The ministry pointed out that back in 2016, Russia banned the Mejlis (the representative body of the Crimean Tatar people) and outlawed all its members. Despite the 2017 order of the UN International Court of Justice, the Mejlis remains banned.
"The international community should increase political and sanctions pressure on Russia to persuade it to liberate the occupied Ukrainian territories, release all political prisoners, and abide by the international court rulings," says the message.
On February 26, Ukraine marks the Day of Resistance to Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.