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U.S. Senate blames Russia for violation of religious freedoms in Crimea, Donbas

The Russian government is behind repressions of Crimean Tatars, parishioners of Ukrainian Orthodox and Greco-Catholic Churches in Crimea, the resolution says
22:47, 14 June 2018

bbc.com

A group of U.S. senators presented the resolution, which claims Russia to be responsible for violations of religious freedoms in Crimea and militant-held areas of eastern Ukraine. The country's embassy in the U.S. posted this on Facebook.

In the document, the senators' group led by Roger Vicker, the head of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, mentioned that Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea suffered the invasion by the Russian authorities, which eventually led to its forceful and illegal occupation. 'Under the requirements of the international law, including the Geneva accords, they are obliged to protect the religious freedoms of the residents of the occupied areas,' the Embassy said.

Related: Ukrainians denied right to refuse from ID cards due to religious views

The resolution states that Russia bears the responsibility for all such violations in Crimea and Donbas. It also claimed that Russian government is behind the acts of repression of Crimean Tatars, parishioners of Ukrainian Orthodox and Greco-Catholic Churches, as well as Protestants in Crimea.

'The document contains the urge to U.S. President to impose sanctions, such as the denial to issue the U.S. visa and the assets freeze - regarding the foreign individuals, directly or indirectly involved in the serious violations of religious freedoms, specifically the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine', the Embassy concluded.

In April, Ukraine's Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate turned to the UN due to the oppression in the occupied Donbas.

Related: Bishopric of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate in Zaporizhya charged with national and religious discord

Related: Zeman asked Putin to release Ukrainian religious studies scholar detained by militants

Related: Ukrainian religious studies scholar detained in DPR is transferred to penitentiary

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