During his visit to Berlin, Anton Korynevych, the permanent representative of the Ukrainian President to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, received a clear message from Germany that sanctions against Russia due to the annexation of Crimea would not be lifted.
"During the visit to Berlin, we received important signals from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs that there could be no other position on Crimea and that the lifting of sanctions introduced for Russia’s annexation of Crimea is out of the question. Of course, we believe that stronger political signals are needed from our other international partners, such as the US Crimea Declaration," Korynevych said in an interview with Krym.Realii.
According to him, the West talks more about the conflict in the Donbas than about the annexation of Crimea.
«... And this is natural, but we would like to hear clearer political signals regarding Crimea. We do everything to be heard, and I think we are heard," said the Presidential Representative.
Earlier, the European Union extended sanctions against Russia for six months because of the annexation of Crimea.
In January 2020, EU ministers added 7 Russian officials to the sanctions list. The EU believes that these officials are responsible for undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity due to Russian local elections held in annexed Crimea and Sevastopol.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.