Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has confirmed the Ukrainian authorities' intention to invite the Russian Federation to join the Crimean Platform on efforts to end Russia's occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula
Kuleba made the comment on the air of TV Channel Ukraine 24 on January 24.
"We are planning to send an invitation [letter], that is, an invitation to the Russian Federation to join the Crimean Platform and engage in talks on the end of Crimea occupation," the minister said.
At the same time, Ukraine's top diplomat says he has no illusions about Russia's response to the invitation.
"It will be negative, but we'll send such an invitation anyway," he added.
Read alsoUkraine's Foreign Ministry asks BBC News not to promote Russian false narrativesCrimean Platform to end Russian occupation of the peninsula
On September 23, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who participated in the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, called on partners to join an international platform for the end of the Russian occupation of Crimea.
In December, Zelensky announced that the creation of the Crimean platform had already been backed by Europe and North America.
The platform will operate at several levels. The first, the highest one, is the political level, which will involve heads of state and government. The second level is that of top diplomats and defense chiefs, the third is the inter-parliamentary level, and the fourth will involve non-governmental experts. An expert network will be created to enhance the effectiveness of government action, as well as engaging additional intellectual resources in the platform's work.
Read alsoRussia turning Crimea into nuclear military base: Intelligence "White Paper"The Crimean Platform Summit is scheduled for August 23, 2021.
Russian occupation of Crimea
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.