European Union

In March 2014, the European Union adopted a policy of non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea and imposed sanctions regimes against the Russian Federation. This position of the EU was reiterated in multiple EU documents, in particular in the European Council Conclusions of 21 March 2014, 20 March 2015 and 14 December 2018.

The EU high-level contacts with Russia were limited: the EU-Russia summits were cancelled, EIB and EBRD suspended suspend the financing of new bilateral and regional operations with the Russian Federation, in particular programs Creative Europe (EU program aimed at support of and creative sectors), Horizon-2020 (EU program in the sphere of science and innovations) and Erasmus+ (EU program in education, youth policy and sport). All projects led by the European Commission and the EU Member States in Crimea were also suspended. The European Commission and the EU Member States have suspended all projects in Crimea, with the exception of small-scale projects and exchanges aimed at improving people-to people contacts.

Consulates and embassies of the EU Member States in Ukraine and in the Russian Federation follow the EU guidelines regarding applications for Schengen visas by residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. According to which residents of Crimea and Sevastopol must obtain visas at the consulates of the Schengen countries located in Ukraine.

Finally, the policy of non-recognition also applies to agreements between the EU and the Russian Federation. The EU has officially informed Russia that bilateral agreements concluded with the Russian Federation are valid only on the territory of Russia, which is recognized by the international community.

Since 2014 EU has repeatedly reaffirmed its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in its decisions and declarations, condemned Russia’s aggression, and reaffirmed its determination to pursue a policy of non-recognition of the attempted annexation of Crimea until de-occupation of the peninsula. The EU underlined that holding elections and conscription of the Crimean residents into Russian Armed Forced are illegal. It furthermore called on Russia to stop human rights violations in temporary occupied Crimea, condemned the ongoing militarization of Crimea and adjacent waters, impediments to freedom of navigation, illegal construction of Kerch bridge, change of demographic structure of the peninsula etc.

The European Parliament has taken an active position in support of Ukraine in the context of Russian aggression. Since March 2014, the European Parliament adopted 8 resolutions: 

  • on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (2014/2627 (RSP) of 13 March 2014; on Russia’s pressure on the Eastern Partnership countries and, in particular, the destabilization of eastern Ukraine by 2014/2699 (RSP) of 17 April 2014); 
  • regarding the situation in Ukraine 2014/2717 (RSP) of July 17, 2014; 2014/2841 (RSP) of September 18, 2014; 
  • 2014/2965 (RSP) of January 15, 2015); on the human rights situation in Crimea, in particular the Crimean Tatars (2016/2556 (RSP) of 4 February 2016; 2016/2692 (RSP) of 12 May 2016); 
  • concerning Russia, including the situation with environmental activists and Ukrainian political prisoners of July 18, 2019.