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The U.S. reiterates its unbending support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, - Pompeo

Secretary of State reminded of the fifth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea and underlined that Russia must return it to Ukraine
13:14, 28 February 2019

Reuters

The U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo reiterated the U.S. unbending support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The ‘Crimea is Ukraine’ Press Statement was published on the official website of the U.S. Department of State on February 27, on the day of the beginning of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine in Crimea and its eventual annexation five years ago.

“The world has not forgotten the cynical lies Russia employed to justify its aggression and mask its attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory. Russia’s use of force against a peaceful neighbor must not be tolerated by reputable states. The United States reiterates its unwavering position: Crimea is Ukraine and must be returned to Ukraine’s control,” reads the message.

At that that the U.S. reiterates their strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters.

“The United States reiterates its unwavering position: Crimea is Ukraine and must be returned to Ukraine’s control,” the statement says.

Pompeo expressed his concern over the current situation in the Crimea.

“The United States remains gravely concerned by the worsening repression by Russia’s occupation regime in Crimea. During the past five years, Russian occupation authorities have engaged in an array of abuses in a campaign to eliminate all opposition to its control over Crimea. As part of this campaign, Russia has arbitrarily detained and wrongfully convicted individuals for peaceful opposition to the occupation, and in some cases has forcibly transferred these individuals from occupied Crimea to Russia,” the press statement reads.

The U.S. traditionally urge Russia to release all Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.

Related: 67 international ships detained for examination by Russia in Kerch Strait in 2019

“The United States calls on Russia to release all of the Ukrainians, including members of the Crimean Tatar community, it has imprisoned in retaliation for their peaceful dissent. This includes Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, Ruslan Zeytullayev, and approximately 70 others. We call on Russia to cease all its abuses immediately, to end its occupation of Crimea, and, in the meantime, to comply with its obligations under international law, including the law of occupation,” the statement says.

Related: U.S. Congress publishes draft law on anti-Russian sanctions

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