On May 27, during his visit to Brussels, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksii Reznikov met with EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore.
The Ukrainian delegation also includes Deputy Ministers for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Ihor Yaremenko and Inna Drahanchuk.
"Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic facing the whole world has changed our initial plans to welcome you to Ukraine at the end of March 2020. However, we are looking forward to your visit to Ukraine and will do our best to help you visit the administrative border with the temporarily occupied Crimea. Your trip will be of special significance for the development of EU-Ukraine cooperation in the field of human rights, as it will be the first visit to Ukraine of such an important institution as the EU Special Representative for Human Rights," Oleksiy Reznikov stressed.
During the meeting, the parties discussed in detail the issue of human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular, in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Oleksii Reznikov emphasized that the new EU sanctions regime for human rights violations should become an important tool for bringing to justice those responsible for ongoing crimes on the occupied peninsula.
The situation with Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by the Russian Federation, humanitarian aspects arising from the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine and the situation with the pandemic of coronavirus infection in the temporarily occupied territories were tackled separately.
"The local population of the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimean peninsula is facing artificial interrupting of communication with Ukraine. In addition to the blocked free movement of citizens across the line of contact and the administrative border, the occupation regimes continue to block access of UN agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the OSCE SMM to the uncontrolled by the Government of Ukraine territories, in particular to the places of detention of imprisoned who are forced to stay in inhuman living conditions. I am convinced that we must force the Russian side to ensure the activities of monitoring bodies in accordance with international law, the UN Charter, relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, as well as national legislation", the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.
Oleksii Reznikov added that effective monitoring of the human rights situation in the occupied Ukrainian territories should be carried out only in accordance with existing international legal standards.
In turn, Eamon Gilmore stressed on continued support for Ukraine in the struggle for independence and territorial integrity and emphasized the importance of further political and diplomatic efforts to ensure respect for human rights in the occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Oleksii Reznikov thanked the European Union for supporting the creation of the Crimean Platform and readiness to consider the place of the platform in the EU's comprehensive policy of non-recognition of the temporarily occupied Crimea.
He stressed that the issue of Crimea should be on the international agenda along with armed aggression and occupation of the territories of eastern Ukraine.
Oleksii Reznikov informed Mr. Gilmore about the National Human Rights Strategy for 2021-2023 approved at the end of March this year.
"The strategy aims to unite society around the values of human rights and freedoms, which are ensured and protected on the basis of equality and non-discrimination. The document pays special attention to restoring the rights of persons whose rights were violated as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. The recommendations of international organizations in the field of human rights were taken into account," Oleksii Reznikov summed up, adding that work is underway to establish a Ukrainian National Center for Peacebuilding, the main task of which will be to form a human rights base violation connected with the Russian aggression of the temporarily occupied territories.
The Deputy Prime Minister also expressed interest in involving European experts in the development of a program aimed at protecting the rights of children affected by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation.
Oleksii Reznikov also said that Ukraine would hold a Forum of Internally Displaced Persons in the fall.
Eamon Gilmore reaffirmed his intention to visit Ukraine and noted the importance of establishing a Peacebuilding Center.