German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, expresses concern over the human rights situation in Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia, and calls on the Russian Federation to fully comply with international standards.
He made the corresponding statement on Friday in connection with the seventh anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and the beginning of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.
"The Committee of Ministers remains concerned that the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula has significantly deteriorated since the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation. Bearing in mind the decision by the European Court of Human Rights of 14 January 2021 regarding Crimea, I call on Russia to fully comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights standards, including by granting unimpeded access to regional and international human rights monitoring mechanisms, as well as non-governmental human rights organizations, to Crimea and Sevastopol," the statement reads.
In addition, Maas, in his capacity as President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, recalled the Committee's condemnation of the illegal annexation, which constitutes a violation of international law, and to reaffirm its unequivocal and unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
"In this respect, I would like to also underline the need to fully implement the Minsk agreements and the Paris summit [Normandy Four] conclusions in order to end the military conflict in Donbas," he added.