‘Crimea must be returned to Ukraine,’ says Polish president

Andrzej Duda called on Russia to return all occupied territories and bear responsibility for its actions

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: dorzeczy.pl
Pro-Russian soldiers march outside a Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, Crimea, Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

There can be no concessions regarding Crimea in any potential peace deal with Russia, Polish President Andrzej Duda has warned.

During a video conference of the Crimea Platform summit, the Polish head of state said that it’s necessary to “do everything in our power for Crimea to once again become a part of Ukraine.”

Duda insisted that “there can be no concessions to Russia on this issue.”

The Crimea Platform is a forum of state leaders and international organizations aimed at restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“Moscow must return all the occupied territories and bear the consequences of its actions. Let’s not forget that the real stake in this war is to maintain a world order based on respect for international law, territorial integrity, and the freedom and right of nations to choose their own future,” said Duda.

He emphasized that the summit is proof that “the international community has understood the significance of the illegal occupation of Crimea.”

Russia occupied Crimea in 2014. Soon after, an illegal “referendum” was conducted, and it was announced that the peninsula had become part of the Russian Federation. According to Moscow, 97 percent of the residents of Crimea and 95 percent in Sevastopol voted to join Russia.

For several years, Russian propaganda has been claiming that the peninsula’s residents voted for a democratic union with Russia in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the issue of Crimea “is finally settled.” Keeping control of the annexed peninsula is one of the crucial prerequisites that Russia has laid down for Ukraine ahead of any possible peace talks.

Authorities in Kyiv disagree with this and consider Crimea to be temporarily occupied territory.

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