On the night of March 18th, the second anniversary of the annexation of Crimea to Russia, Brussels issued a statement condemning this move. The document published on the Russian website of the foreign service of the EU (EEAS) on behalf of the foreign Ministers of 28 countries of the European Union and EEAS head Federica Mogherini.
“The EU will continue to adhere to the full implementation of its policy of non-recognition, including through restrictive measures, — says the statement. — The EU reiterates its call upon States members of the United Nations to consider similar measures for recognition in accordance with the resolution of the UN General Assembly No. 68/262”.
A resolution condemning the annexation of Crimea to Russia, was adopted at a meeting of the UN General Assembly on 27 March 2014. It reaffirms Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the illegality of the Crimean referendum on joining Russia. The document also calls on all countries and international organizations to “refrain from any action that could be interpreted as recognition of” the transfer of Crimea to Russia.
Of those present at the meeting of the General Assembly of the delegates the resolution was supported by representatives of 100 countries, and 58 abstained from voting. It was opposed by 11 countries besides Russia and Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria and Sudan.
Among those countries who supported the UN resolution, but has not imposed sanctions against Russia because of events in Crimea — some Latin American countries (e.g. Mexico, Peru, Chile), Middle East and Africa (Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines).
European sanctions in connection with the annexation of Crimea not connected with events in the Donbas and Minsk agreements. In the context of the “Crimean” sanctions Brussels has blocked the European assets 37 legal and 146 individuals, who also denied entry to the territory of the EU. In December 2014, the European Union organized trading and financial blockade of the Crimea.
In addition, the foreign Ministers of the EU called for the immediate release of Ukrainian Director Oleg Sentsov and activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, which in the summer of 2015 Russian court and sentenced to 20 years in a penal colony for “organizing a terrorist community”.
Finally, the EU noted that the situation with human rights in Crimea and called for international human rights defenders provide full and free access “to the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and Sevastopol”. Concern to Brussels are the attempts to ban the Crimean Tatar Mejlis as an extremist organization.
Two days earlier, the anniversary of the referendum in Crimea, a similar statement was made by the U.S. Department of state. Washington said that he did not recognize the annexation of Crimea to Russia, urged Moscow to return the Peninsula to Ukraine and expressed concern about the situation with freedom of speech in “occupied” Crimea.