Kyiv is preparing for the second Crimea Platform that should take place on Tuesday 23 online due to Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine.
The Crimea Platform will bring together heads of state, political leaders, and top representatives from international organizations from 60 countries – fourteen more than in 2021.
It will be hosted by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and is expected to involve a greater number of high-profile representatives compared to last year’s meeting, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In particular, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to give a speech as well as Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau, and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida. Last year, the then-German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, skipped the event.
Council of Europe Secretary General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and NATO’s chief, Jens Stoltenberg, are also slated to attend.
Ahead of the meeting, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova, emphasized that the situation has changed dramatically since last year’s event.
“Crimea has been utilized for transporting Russian troops and equipment to occupy southern Ukraine. Russia also uses it for shelling Ukrainian cities and infrastructural objects while sending backup via the Kerch Bridge,” said Dzhaparova. She added that Moscow also uses Crimea to maintain the blockade in the Black Sea and could potentially seize Transnistria and Moldova via its territory.
Commenting on last year’s attendance, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said: “We managed to bring together all the Euro-Atlantic space and the G7 counties. However, other regions, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America were underrepresented.” He added that this year more representatives from other parts of the world, including Africa, are expected to participate.
“Crimea’s return is one of the key principles of President Zelensky’s diplomatic team. This is the task that we will never give up or forget. Justice will be restored, and Crimea was, is, and will always be Ukraine,” noted Kuleba.
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