"I condemn the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, five years ago. The UK will never recognize Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and we call on Russia to end their illegitimate control of the peninsula and their attempts to redraw the boundaries of Europe," he said in a statement distributed on Monday, March 18.
According to him, Russia's pattern of unacceptable behaviour has continued with their supply of weapons and personnel to the conflict it initiated in eastern Ukraine, the illegal construction of a bridge connecting mainland Russia with Crimea, and their relentless attempts to monopolize the Kerch Strait in a campaign intended to undermine Ukraine's economy and demoralize its citizens.
"I call for the immediate release of all Ukrainian political prisoners, who are being held in Crimea and Russia without access to international monitoring organizations or essential medical treatment. Russia must also immediately release the 24 Ukrainian servicemen, who were detained whilst lawfully attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait," he said.
"We join NATO and the EU in condemning Russia's unjustified use of force on Ukrainian vessels in November last year. The UK, along with our EU and G7 partners, remains unwavering in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Crimea is Ukraine," he added.
As we reported earlier, NATO urged the Russian Federation to return control over Crimea to Ukraine. The North Atlantic Council reported this in the statement on the fifth anniversary of the Crimea annexation. The North Atlantic Alliance confirmed the full support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.