First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar held a meeting with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Kara McDonald through videoconferencing.
As the press service of the Foreign Ministry reports, Dzheppar informed McDonald about the aggravation of the security situation in eastern Ukraine, in the temporarily occupied Crimea and adjacent waters, the build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border, as well as Russia's announcement of the closure of part of Black Sea waters towards the Kerch Strait for warships and state vessels of other countries from next week to October 2021 under the pretext of military exercises.
The First Deputy Foreign Minister spoke about the deteriorating human rights situation in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, including gross human rights violations, curtailment of freedom of speech, oppression of freedom of religion, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and systematic persecution of those who oppose the occupation, human rights activists and journalists.
Dzheppar drew the attention of the American side to the decree of the President of the Russian Federation No.201 as another step of Russia which deprived Ukrainians of the right to own land in the temporarily occupied Crimea.
She stressed the importance of increasing the effectiveness of the international community's response to the occupation of Crimea and other violations of norms and principles of international law. In particular, the importance of launching the Crimean Platform as one of the tools for the de-occupation of Crimea during the inaugural summit in Kyiv on 23 August was underscored.
"Russia is making every effort to thwart this initiative of Ukraine. One of the goals of Russia's recent escalation of the situation along the border with Ukraine and in the Azov-Black Sea region is to discredit the Crimean Platform," Emine Dzheppar said.
For her part, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary reaffirmed her continued support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and pointed out the measures taken by the United States in this regard, including in cooperation with G7 and NATO partners, in response to the escalation of the situation by the Russian Federation.
McDonald reaffirmed her understanding of the importance of the Crimean Platform summit and the US plans to ensure its participation in the summit at a high political level.
Dzheppar thanked the American side for its attention to the human rights situation in Crimea, in particular for imposing additional sanctions in the context of the occupation of Crimea. "The political-diplomatic way of de-occupation of Crimea envisages several instruments, including sanctions pressure. The United States is one of the leading countries using this mechanism. The Crimean Platform aims to consolidate international efforts, where U.S. support will be crucial to the success of this initiative," the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine said.