Friday, 16 April 2021 01:35 GMT

Latvia concerned about militarization of Russian-occupied Crimea


(MENAFN - UkrinForm) Latvia is concerned about violations of human rights in the occupied Crimea, in particular the rights of national and ethnic minorities, as well as Russia's militarization of the Crimean peninsula.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said this at the ministerial panel discussion "International Response to Human Rights Violations in the Temporarily Occupied Crimea, Ukraine" on February 23, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

"The situation with human rights violations in the occupied Crimea, which is constantly worsening, is of particular concern. UN bodies confirm violence, capture of people, and disappearances in Crimea," Rinkēvičs said.

He stressed that human rights violations among national and ethnic groups in the occupied Crimea are of concern. "Human rights abuses must be stopped and all those responsible for these actions must be held accountable. All cases of human rights violations in Crimea must be thoroughly investigated," the Latvian minister stressed.

He noted that the growing militarization of Crimea is also of great concern. "Latvia once again calls on Russia for full and unrestricted access of international human rights observers to the illegally annexed territory," Rinkēvičs said.

He added that the issues of the occupation of Crimea and the human rights situation must remain among the main priorities on the global agenda in the international arena. In this context, he welcomed the initiative to create the Crimean Platform - a consultative and coordination format for discussing issues of the occupied peninsula.

As reported, the Crimean Platform is a new consultative and coordination format initiated by Ukraine to improve the efficiency of the international response to the occupation of Crimea, respond to growing security challenges, step up international pressure on Russia, prevent further human rights violations, protect victims of the occupying power and to achieve the de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine.

The Crimean Platform is expected to operate at the level of heads of state and government, foreign ministers, in the dimension of inter-parliamentary cooperation and expert network.

The Crimean Platform is to be launched officially at an inaugural summit in Kyiv in 2021.

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