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On February 15, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, took part in a ministerial conference to launch the "Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations," initiated by Canada.

The main goal is to rally like-minded countries to build a collective global response to the so-called "coercive diplomacy," MFA Ukraine's press service reports.

Read alsoBorrell: No normalization of EU-Russia relations without fulfillment of Minsk agreementsIn his address to participants, Dmytro Kuleba highlighted an acute issue of arbitrary arrests in Crimea and parts of Donbas temporarily occupied by Russia, noting that about 100 Ukrainians are currently being held in Russia and in Crimea on politically motivated charges.

"Politically motivated persecution of the citizens of Ukraine on fabricated charges has become a routine practice of the occupying power. We consider this Declaration an important additional instrument to make the Russian Federation fulfill its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, to liberate all Ukrainian citizens arbitrarily arrested and illegally imprisoned by Russia, to protect victims, and to prevent further human rights violations," Kuleba said.

The Minister drew attention to Ukraine’s initiative of the "Crimean Platform" aiming to consolidate international efforts to de-occupy Crimea, and invited the participating delegates to take part in its inaugural Summit this year.

“International solidarity played a significant role in our effort to achieve the release of dozens of political prisoners from Russian captivity. We should remain united and speak vocally. Consolidated action and joint pressure remain key factors in the further release of our political prisoners,” said Minister Kuleba.

Memo

In October 2020, Canada initiated the " Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations", whose purpose was to "create a global collective response to coercive diplomacy".