Crimea : France stands in solidarity with Ukraine
De-occupation, de-militarization and reintegration of the autonomous republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine) : challenges ahead
Remarks by Mme Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
United Nations – November 6, 2019
Thank you very much. We are all here in solidarity with Ukraine and the defense of your sovereignty and of your territorial integrity within your internationally recognized borders. It’s really a matter of principle, as underlined by you and by Ambassador Heusgen. It’s also a key point for France. Five years after the illegal annexation of Crimea, we can’t remain silent.
In addition, I think we also have serious concerns about the consequences and the evolution of the situation in the peninsula, as a result of the measures that have been imposed by Russia and that you have very well described. You described the militarization, and the way it’s happening at the detriment of the living conditions of local communities, and also the impact in terms of the stoking and the exacerbation of regional tensions which we have seen in the Azov Sea last year. You also described the ecological deterioration which is certainly a very serious problem.
I also want to flag another concern for us which is the deterioration of the situation of human rights in Crimea. We know that there is a widespread repression of dissenting views and we know that men and women of the Tatar community pay a particular heavy price in this regard. Last March, there was a new wave of crackdown on the Tatar community, and reports show that the Tatar community represents a greater proportion of political prisoners in Russia.
Faced with this reality, it is right that we take actions here in the General Assembly. France supports the two resolutions that you are presenting and we are encouraging the member states to do likewise. I think it is also very right that in the resolutions you try to be up-to-date and acknowledge the steps in the right direction that have been taken, in particular the release of the 24 Ukrainians sailors that were captured last year. I couldn’t agree more with Ambassador Heusgen that we need to broaden the support in the international community for these resolutions. It is really a crucial matter of principle, respect for international law. And I think this is the point on which we can all rally.
We need also to continue the diplomatic efforts, and you can count on France, together with Germany, to continue our efforts in the framework of the Normandie format, to try to find and to push a political negotiated solution through the full implementation of the Minsk agreement.