The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine says they expect from a meeting of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination passing an appeal to the Russian Federation to end the occupation of Crimea.
In a commentary published by MFA Ukraine's press service on the meeting of the PACE committee, set to consider a draft report on the situation with the Crimean Tatars, diplomats said the meeting "should be an important step in joint efforts to hold accountable [those responsible] for violation of human rights and freedoms in the occupied territories of Ukraine."
"We expect the final document of the Assembly will not only confirm, but also strengthen the position of the Council of Europe, calling on the Russian Federation to cease the temporary occupation of Crimea, which is the root cause and only source of systemic human rights violations on the peninsula," the comment says.
In addition, the Ministry expects the Assembly to call on Russia to comply with all obligations of the occupying state in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, to immediately release Ukrainian citizens who are being illegally held in the occupied Crimea and in Russia, to cease the unlawful application of legislation of the occupying state – the Russian Federation – including by forced recruitment into the occupying army and illegal transfer of the population to and from the territory of Russia.
"The subject of monitoring by the conventional and institutional monitoring mechanisms of the Council of Europe should be fulfillment by the occupying state of its obligations in line with international law, in particular, the norms and principles of international humanitarian law and international law in the field of human rights protection," reads the report.
"When making new decisions, it is important not to lower the bar set earlier, requiring Russia to fulfill the previously adopted requirements, but also to increase pressure on the occupying state, thereby contributing to the cessation of occupation and violations of human rights on the peninsula," the Ministry said.
"We believe that, amid the crisis of confidence in the Organization, which was provoked by the Parliamentary Assembly itself, by joint steps, in particular by new ambitious decisions to return Crimea to Ukraine, we will be able to restore the authority of the Council of Europe as an important legal guideline in Europe in the field of protecting human rights," the MFA said.