Zelensky vows to annex Crimea in address to Crimea Platform parliament
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky virtually addresses the Crimea Platform .
While Ukrainian parliamentary leaders convened in Croatia to coordinate an 'international response' against Russia on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to annex Crimea.
Prior to the begining of the war in Ukraine, an initiative was launched by Ukraine, called the Crimea Platform, in an effort to establish a consultative international group to consolidate a response against Crimea's decision to join Russia.
In a virtual address to the Paliament, Zelensky said “We will definitely liberate Crimea...We will return this part of our country not only to the all-Ukrainian space, but also to the all-European space.”
The Ukrainian president, however, also noted that it would “not be easy” to reintegrate Crimea with Ukraine but noted that “we are getting closer every day.”
“The return of the Ukrainian flag to Crimea" says Zelensky "is the return of the normality familiar to all Europeans, as it is available in each of your countries,” highlighting “Security normality, economic, legal, social, cultural.”
Furthermore, he said “I am grateful to all our partners — almost 50 states and international organizations — who help in the parliamentary format.”
It is worth noting that Crimea became part of Russia following the 2014 referendum in which 96% of Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia. Ukraine claims that Crimea is a Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that the decision made by the Crimean people was conducted in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said in July 2018 that the Crimean issue is closed and not up for discussion.
Significantly, US Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), was among the dozens of parliamentary leaders from across the world who convened in Croatia this week for the platform's first parliamentary summit. Additionally present was US Representative Gerry Connolly (Democrat), who attended in his capacity as NATO Parliamentary Assembly president.
At the conference, Pelosi hailed the huge amounts of money Congress has set aside for Ukrainian weapons supplies and promised to provide extra funds when lawmakers finish preparing the government funding legislation later in the year.
At the summit, Pelosi said that “this platform was established to bring the end of Russia’s occupation of Crimea and to restore control of the — Ukraine over the territory, in full accordance with international law. Crimea is Ukraine."