Eight European countries agree to not recognize the results of Russian presidential elections in Crimea
The foreign ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine made a joint statement on the fourth anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.
The statement published on the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry says that "the EU does not recognize the results of the elections held by Russia in the Crimea."
The Foreign Ministers of the eight countries assured that they will not allow the Crimea to disappear from the international agenda. "While illegal annexation continues, restrictive measures and sanctions will continue," the appeal says.
The authors note that the annexation of the Crimea increases the security risks in the Black Sea region, but its consequences stretch far beyond the region.
"Together with the current Russian aggression in the Donbas, it also violates the European security order, rules and principles that have served as the basis for stability and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War," the document says.
The foreign ministers of eight countries also called for the release of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov and more than 60 other political prisoners.
In addition, they said that international monitoring organizations should be granted access the Crimea.
The Foreign Ministers stressed that what happened in the Crimea "affects not only Ukraine, but all of us."
"That's why we will not forget and will not leave the Crimea," the appeal says.
Earlier, Ukraine questioned the legitimacy of presidential elections in Russia in connection with the annexation of the Crimea. At the same time, the results of voting on the peninsula will be insignificant from the legal point of view, and will not have any legal consequences, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine says.