The results of the plenary session of the First Parliamentary Summit

The plenary session of the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform, organized by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Croatian Sabor, took place on October 25.

The Summit was attended by delegations from over 50 countries and international institutions: representatives of parliamentary assemblies, international organizations, the European Parliament, the United States, Croatia, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, Canada and Japan. Ukraine also invited countries that are not members of the Crimean Platform, in particular from South America, Africa and Asia.

The first part of the Summit was moderated by Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Gordan Jandroković, Chairman of the Croatian Sabor, who noted that the Summit provides an opportunity to send strong messages “about unity, solidarity, support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression” and called on the partners not to stop on the way to help the Ukrainian people for the sake of common victory.

Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia emphasized that Crimea is Ukraine, as well as all the temporarily occupied territories, spoke about the need to support the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which works continuously, even when Kyiv is under attack, and called for the maintenance of the world order based on the norms of international law.

At the beginning of the session, the participants watched a video address of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The President of Ukraine addressed the audience and emphasized that due to the Russian armed aggression, Europe had found itself in the most dangerous situation since the Second World War. The President urged to liberate Crimea and stop the use of it by Russia as a springboard for attacks on Ukraine. Then people will feel that the world is becoming safer.  

Zelenskyy spoke about the importance of the Crimean platform on the way of reintegration of Crimea, a starting point for other humanitarian and diplomatic platforms of restoration of true peace: «The return of the Ukrainian flag is the arrival of the European Union on the peninsula. In the full sense of these words. All levels of our integration: trade – this is a huge market, investment – these are huge opportunities for development. All this is simply not available in Crimea now. And it cannot be available – Russia has deprived our peninsula of markets and development. The return of the Ukrainian flag is the protection of human rights, it is freedom for all people in Crimea, for all communities – ethnic or religious. It is an opportunity to freely speak your mind and spread the truth about what is happening. It is available everywhere on our continent – from the Atlantic to the Kharkiv region. And it will be available in Crimea. We are already getting closer – every day».

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives said she came to the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform to express support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. She noted that all participants gathered to show the power of unity of world parliaments, and the United States of America should also be present.

Marketa Pekarova Adamova, Chairperson of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament noted that militarization of Crimea threatens maritime trade and recalled numerous war crimes and human rights violations by Russia.

Gerald E. Connolly, The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly began his speech by accusing Russia of starting a great bloody war in Ukraine. He added that this is a war not only for the freedom of the European continent, but for the attempt to destroy the global democratic regime.

Bärbel Bas, President of the Bundestag emphasized that the attempts of blackmailing the Russian Federation would not divide the European countries, but on the contrary – today Europe is united as never before. 

Elzbieta Witek, Marshal of the Polish Senate stressed that Russian crimes, along with the forced military conscription, are aimed at the destruction of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar people.

At the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey expressed his unequivocal support for Ukraine on the issues of territorial integrity of Ukraine and non-recognition of the occupation of Crimea and other occupied territories. 

Othmar Karas, First Vice-President of the European Parliament paid attention to the occupation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and its consequences in 2022. He called on the participating countries to pool their experience, resources, knowledge and best practices for Ukraine’s victory.

Valérie Rabault, Vice-President of the National Assembly of France noted that energy problems before the winter could threaten unity, so it is necessary to unite now more than ever. At the end of her speech Valérie Rabault also emphasized the priority of military, financial and economic assistance.

At the plenary session Sergio Costa, Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Italian Parliament, spoke about the losses among the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, the destruction of tangible and intangible values and cultural heritage, as well as the spread of ethnic hatred. 

Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada said that the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform – a gathering of friends and allies – underscores that Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine undermines regional security. It is an aggression with geopolitical consequences far beyond Ukraine. Canada and Canadians stand with Ukraine now and will be there when the time comes to rebuild. 

Hiroyuki Hosoda, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the National Parliament of Japan is confident that the Russian invasion of Ukraine undermines the foundations of international order. The Japanese politician also expressed solidarity of Japan with Ukraine and expressed confidence that Ukrainians are fighting for their Motherland and democracy.

During the International Crimea Platform Sir Lindsey Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, mentioned the recent mass airstrikes on Ukraine and called Vladimir Putin an aggressor. The speaker declared his unquestionable support for Ukraine and the liberation of Crimea. Sir Hoyle emphasized that Great Britain continues to provide shelter to Ukrainian refugees, as well as providing military equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces and training thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.

Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, noted that repressions, violations, and prosecutions committed by Russian impunitive authorities in Crimea now obvious for the whole world. He found it impossible to describe the scale of the tragedy of Crimean Tatar families, he underlined. The world community can clearly observe the Russian desire to eliminate indeginous people on the peninsula today.

Tamila Tasheva, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, said that on the instructions of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a strategy for the restoration of Crimea after de-occupation was developed, which is a powerful signal to Ukrainian citizens on the occupied peninsula. She also recalled one of her last conversations with Nariman Dzhelal, the First Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, who was mentioned more than once during the Summit. This conversation raised questions about how to survive under the occupation and not break, how to remain true to oneself, and stand up for one’s people and values.

Lindita Nikolla, Speaker of the Kuvendi i Shqipërisë, at the Summit explained why she considers a strong political response to the Russian aggression to be an important component of Ukraine’s victory.

Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the National Council of Austria, assured at the plenary session of the Summit that the international parliamentary community can make an additional contribution to achieving the goals of the Crimea Platform. Mr. Sobotka emphasized that it is very important to fight against false Russian narratives, for example, that supporting Ukraine will lead to an increase in the war.

Stephanie D’Hose, the President of the Senate of Belgium, addressed the participants of the Summit about the need to arm themselves against vile attempts to undermine the Ukrainian people. And emphasized that while supporting Ukraine, we should not forget that Putin’s henchmen are not only fighting in Ukraine, but also walking among us.

Eliane Tillieux, the President of Chamber of Representatives of the Belgian Parliament, stated that Belgium does not recognize the illegal occupation of Crimea and other territories of Ukraine by Russia. Madame Tillieux also shared her emotions after visiting the Polish border at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

Arias Sánchez, President of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica Rodrigo stressed the importance of the Crimean Platform and added that the tragedy that Eastern Europe is experiencing should prompt to reflect on the obligation of states to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.

Tini Kox, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe assured that the PACE supports the establishment of a special tribunal to respond to the crime of aggression.

Anita Demetriou, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Cyprus called on the Summit participants to defend democracy and the rule of law not only by resolutions and not only by condemning the occupation of Crimea. She called to put pressure on the Russian Federation.

Jüri Ratas, Speaker of the Estonian Parliament, has noted that Ukrainian bravery inspired the whole world. According to his words, it is crucial for us to stay united and continue ещ raise the price that Russia has to pay for its aggression. Countries need to increase military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and support the Ukrainian people during post-war reconstruction period.

At the beginning of his speech, Gérard Larcher, the President of the Senate of France, emphasized Russia’s gross disregard for the principle of inviolability of borders. The speaker is convinced that there will be no lasting peace without the restoration of Ukraine’s future with the de-occupied peninsula.

Shalva Papuashvili, the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia, has said that Russia should recognize the territorial integrity of Ukraine, withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory and respect Ukrainian independence. He talks about the experience of the Georgian people, who also suffered from Russian aggression and atrocities both in 2008 and in the early 1990s, and shared the lessons that Georgia learned from it.

During the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform, Konstantinos Tasoulas, President of the Hellenic Parliament, spoke about the attitude of the Greek government to the pseudo-referendums illegally held by the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.

Manzoor Nadir, Speaker of the National Assembly of Guyana emphasized the importance of discussing the topic of Crimea and the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. He noted that the Crimean platform is an excellent strengthening mechanism for compliance with international law. Mr. Nadir said that Russia provoked the world food crisis by unleashing a full-scale war.

Duarte Pacheco, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union noted the importance of the Summit of the International Crimea Platform and the unity of democratic countries against Russian aggression. “The Inter-Parliamentary Union, which includes 180 parliaments, decided from the very first day to be on the right side of history, protecting the values of international law and the UN Charter.”

In his speech, Mark Daly, Chair of the Senate of the Parliament of Ireland stated that Ireland  would be advocates of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.

He also recalled his visit to Bucha and Irpin, thanked Zelenskiy for addressing the Irish Parliament, and recalled that Ireland senators have passed the resolution acknowledging the invasion of Ukraine as genocide.

Senator Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, Envoy of the President of the Senate of Italian Republic expressed his deep concern for the warning situation on human rights in Crimea under Russian occupation. And reminded “Moscov’s brutal and criminal attacks” – massive bombing of the civilian population and infrastructure all over the territory of Ukraine. Italian politician also said that the years of militarization of occupied Crimea have destabilized the security of the Azov and Black seas’ region.

Ināra Mūrniece, Chairwoman of the Seimas of the Republic of Latvia noted that it is obvious that Russia has become a source of threat to peace and order, drawing parallels between Stalin’s and Putin’s regimes. The speaker noted that Latvia comprehensively supported Ukraine.

President of the Landtag of Liechtenstein Albert Frick confirmed the solidarity of his country with Ukraine. He assured that Liechtenstein would continue to condemn the actions of Russia in the strongest possible terms. The politician is convinced that the world community is witnessing military force in its most brutal form and must take concrete measures right now.

During the Summit,  Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania, spoke about measures to help Ukraine and stop Russian aggression. She also invited parliamentary leaders to learn from the mistakes of 2014 and jointly restore justice and peace in Ukraine.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Malta Angelo Farruja expressed the solidarity of the people of Malta with Ukraine and stated that the repressive policy of Russia in the occupied Crimea and other newly occupied regions of Ukraine is a violation of human rights that poses great risks to global security. 

Ihor Grosu, the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova expressed his support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and added that Ukraine is heroically fighting for the security of all of Europe and, in particular, of the Republic of Moldova. The parliamentarian emphasized that Ukraine still needs help.

Danijela Đurović, president of the Parliament of Montenegro, said that Montenegro is on the side of the Ukrainian people and is ready to provide financial and material assistance for the restoration of Ukraine.

Rt Hon Adrian Rurawhe, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, said that New Zealand does not recognize any attempt to change the Ukrainian border. He reported that the New Zealand government imposed sanctions on more than 1,000 citizens of Russia and Belarus, provided Ukraine with humanitarian aid and the opportunity to obtain a special visa for family members of the Ukrainian community in New Zealand.

Talat Xhaferi, President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia, emphasized the importance of the Crimean Platform as evidence of the unity of the international community in the protection of international law. He also strongly condemned the fact that the world could not prevent the occupation, undemocratic and inhumane behavior of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine.

Masud Gharahkhani, the President of the Norwegian Parliament, is convinced that the Crimea occupation was a clear sign of further offenses that the world ignored. He also underlined that the international community is deeply impressed by the resilience of Ukrainians in the face of a materially superior aggressor.

In her speech, the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Margareta Cederfelt, mentioned the July Birmingham Declaration with recommendations on building peace and security in the OSCE area, where the parliamentarians voted to condemn in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine, demanding an immediate ceasefire and the full withdrawal of Russian troops. 

Marshal of the Polish Senate Tomasz Grodzki called on the participants of the Summit and their governments to give Ukraine all the necessary military, humanitarian, political and financial support. He also stated that the days of “old-fashioned” cooperation with Russia are over. No more delusions.

Alina-Ştefania Gorgiu, the President of the Senate of the Parliament of Romania, emphasized that Russia must bear responsibility despite the chaos of the war. Gorhiu emphasized that atrocities committed by Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine are war crimes.  

Urška Klakočar Zupančič, Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia stressed during the First Parliamentary Summit that parliaments can play an important role in agenda setting.

Meritxell Batet, President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain, stated that Russia has breached essential rules and principles of international law and is damaging international order and global security. Spain condemns attempts of the annexation of Ukrainian territories, and the violation of human rights committed by Russia in occupied regions, as well as the Russian pseudo-referendums at the end of September.

Andreas Norlen, Speaker of the Riksdag, said that the First Parliamentary Summit raises the vitally important question for Sweden and Ukraine about — what role the parliament plays in preserving the democratic system and society. He also confirmed Norway’s support for Ukraine.

Irene Kallin, President of the National Council of Switzerland stated that the occupation of Crimea was not an isolated incident, but the first step of a brutal plan of full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. She noted that Russia is using the occupied Crimea as a base for attacking the rest of Ukraine, and the people of Crimea have suffered a double blow: first the occupation 8 years ago, and now the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and further restriction of human rights.

Jitka Seitlová, Vice-President of the Senate of the Czech Republic, stated that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a manifestation of Putin’s fascist regime.

The speaker emphasized the heroism of Ukraine and noted that the  Senate of the Czech Republic monitors the situation in Crimea, they also visited the crime scenes in Bucha and Irpin and condemn the rocket attacks on civilian targets and illegal referendums on the territory of Ukraine, which are held by the occupying administration.

First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Finland Antti Rinne stated that Finland firmly supports the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine and internationally recognized borders. He said that the threatening blackmail with nuclear weapons will not change anything and Finland will not recognize mock referendums or attempts to annex Ukrainian territory.

Márta Mátrai, First Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly, emphasized that Hungary supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and does not recognize illegal “referendums” held in the occupied territories of Ukraine. 

Oddný G. Harðardóttir, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament (Alting) of Iceland, told that Iceland stands in full solidarity with Ukraine against Russia. She said that is a duty to do everything in our power to help people in Ukraine win this war, and after the war has ended – to help rebuild Ukraine. 

Vasile-Daniel Suciu, Vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies of the parliament of Romania has yet again emphasized that occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea are lawfully Ukrainian. He has also shared his experience with helping Ukrainian refugees in the first days of a full-scale Russian invasion.

Peter Pcolinsky, deputy head of the Parliament of the Republic of Slovakia, said that he spent several days working on the border of Ukraine as a volunteer and saw women and children fleeing the war raging in Europe in the 21st century.

Charles Flanagan, the Deputy of the Chairperson of the Parliament of Ireland, said at the plenary session of the First Parliamentary Summit that Russia’s greed for power is the basis for its destruction. Russia’s intentions to gain control over the energy sector pose a mortal danger to Europe. Flanagan also emphasized the importance of parliamentary cooperation proposed by the Crimea Platform to combat security threats.

Claude Wiseler, Representative of the Speaker of Parliament, Member of the Bureau, Deputy President of Foreign and European Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, said that the world should rebuild Ukraine after the war and help it join the European Union as soon as possible.

Sérgio Sousa Pinto, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Portuguese Communities of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, has listed a number of values for which the European community, like other parts of the world, should fight. Otherwise, the Russian Federation will return the world community to its worst state.

Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, has summed up the results of the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform. The Participants agree that the strategic goal of the First Parliamentary Summit is to establish and implement an effective parliamentary dimension of cooperation between the Participants to promote global and domestic awareness of the situation on the Crimean Peninsula under the temporary occupation of Russia.

Participants condemn:

  • serious and systematic violations of human rights and abuses on the Crimean peninsula, especially illegal or arbitrary detention of Crimean residents, including Crimean Tatars, violations of family unity, forced conscription of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars into the Russian army, as well as threats to freedom of speech, self-expression and religion,

  • the illegal attempt by the Russian Federation and its proxies to falsify democratic tools and mechanisms, such as the recent so-called “referendums” in the regions of Ukraine, in order to falsify the grounds for the Russian Federation’s illegitimate claims regarding the annexation of territories temporarily occupied by it, as in the case of Crimea,

  • the militarization of Crimea by the Russian Federation, which is still ongoing and undermines security and stability in the wider Black Sea region, violates freedom of navigation in the Azov and Black Seas, causing immense damage not only to the economy and agriculture of Ukraine, but also to global food supplies,

  • attempts to illegally export stolen Ukrainian grain from the temporarily occupied regions of Donbas to third countries,

  • obstacles to the realization of the rights and freedoms of navigation in accordance with international law, including obstacles to the free passage of ships through the Kerch Strait to the Sea of Azov and the wider Black Sea region and back, which has negative economic consequences for Ukrainian ports and international trade flows,

  • a long-term change in the demographic structure in the temporarily occupied Crimea by resettling Russian citizens and expelling pro-Ukrainian activists from the peninsula.

The countries participating in the Summit will continue diplomatic, political, humanitarian and financial support for the restoration of the territorial value of Ukraine. They agreed to implement at the parliamentary level the decisions of the Constituent Summit of the International Crimean Platform by consolidating joint efforts, including by:

  • full implementation and strengthening of the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and cooperation in international forums;

  • the constant strengthening of the effectiveness of already existing restrictive measures against Russia and the readiness to consider their further expansion in compliance with the relevant procedures and jurisdiction of each Participant, if the development of events in Ukraine requires such actions;

  • promoting regional security and protecting freedom of navigation;

  • overcoming the negative impact of the temporary occupation of Crimea on the economy, cultural and educational rights of Ukrainians and indigenous peoples, including indigenous Crimean Tatars, and on the environment.