Office of External Relations
March 17, 2020
Turkey renounces Russia's annexation of Crimea on 6th anniversary
Mar 16, 2020 10:44 am GMT+3
I set out the Turkish article below but begin by noting that U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo has declared the United States will never recognize Russia’s occupation of Crimea – which is a solid statement of American intentions. But it is not law. In that context I remind that for decades the United States law was that we would never recognize the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States and that should be our law regarding Crimea.  H.R. 596 The Crimea Annexation Non-Recognition Act has passed the House of Representatives is sitting in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – it should be reported, passed and sent to the President for enactment.
Mar 16, 2020 10:44 am
Turkey renounced Russia's annexation of Crimea on Monday, in line with the sixth anniversary of the country's illegal takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.

"Neither Turkey nor the international community recognizes the illegal annexation of the Crimean Autonomous Republic of Ukraine by the Russian Federation based on an illegitimate referendum which was held six years ago today," said the Foreign Ministry in a statement. [ The Kalashnikov Referendum – the circumstances under which the occupying Russians conducted the phony vote leads to about the only name one can legitimately call it - The Kalashnikov Referendum. RAM ]

"It continues to be a priority for Turkey that Crimean Tatars, as a constituent people of Crimea, continue to live in well-being and security in their historical homeland, have their cultural identity protected and that their suffering as a result of the occupation is brought to an end," the statement said. Turkey supports "the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, a strategic partner of Turkey," the ministry added.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine after an independence referendum was held in 2014, [ After invading and imbedding significant military forces – the referendum was phony and the results were phony, no one should give them any notice beyond calling Putin and his propaganda groupies liars. RAM ] following the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as a result of the pro-European Union Euromaidan protests in the capital [ Correction – following Yanukovych fleeing the country even after an agreement had been reached with leaders of the Maidan protests on a way forward – he wasn’t ousted but his leaving was for the best.. RAM ].

The U.N. General Assembly later voted to proclaim the Russian action illegal. Along with an overwhelming majority of U.N. member states, Turkey denied recognition of Crimea as Russian territory.
Crimean Tatars are a Muslim community indigenous to the Black Sea peninsula. Under Joseph Stalin's rule, much of the community was sent into exile in Uzbekistan and the Urals and only returned to their homeland around the time of the fall of the USSR.
Most Crimean Tatars opposed Moscow's annexation of the peninsula in 2014. As a result, Russian authorities have cracked down on the community, abrogating their right to assembly and taking a Tatar-language television channel off the air, as well as detaining and jailing dozens of activists.

The parenthetical comments here are those of Mr. McConnell and not necessarily those of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation or the Friends of Ukraine Network

Bob McConnell
Coordinator, External Relations
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network

Robert A. McConnell is a co-founder of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and Coordinator of External Relations for the Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network. He is Principal of R.A. McConnell and Associates. Previously, he has served as head of the Government Advocacy Practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Vice President – Washington for CBS, Inc, and Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice during the Reagan Administration.
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