The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic says that the ongoing militarization of Russian-occupied Crimea represents a blatant breach of international law.
"The ongoing militarization of the territory of Crimea, as well as a violation of unhindered and free navigation through the Kerch Strait and in the Sea of Azov, represent yet another blatant breach of international law. Moreover, it poses a threat to stability and security in Europe," the ministry said in a statement on March 16 on the 5th anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea.
The Czech Republic says the European Union and the overwhelming majority of countries continue to consider the Crimean peninsula as a part of Ukraine.
"The Czech Republic having also experienced a military occupation of a part of its territory by a strong neighbouring country remains steadfast in its commitment to pursuing a non-recognition policy," it said.
According to the statement, since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the fundamental human and civil rights of the Crimean Tatars, as well as those of other ethnic and religious communities, have been violated.
"The Czech Republic calls on the Russian Federation to assure compliance with the international human rights standards as well as to immediately release Oleh Sentsov and other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens including the crewmembers captured during the attack on Ukrainian vessels in November 2018," it said.
UNIAN memo. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014 after its troops had occupied the peninsula. An illegal referendum was held for Crimeans to decide on accession to Russia. De-facto Crimean authorities reported that allegedly 96.77% of the Crimean population had voted for joining Russia. On March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia was signed in the Kremlin. The West did not recognize the annexation in response to which sanctions against Russia were introduced. Ukraine's parliament voted to designate February 20, 2014, as the official date when the temporary occupation of Crimea began.