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Deputy Head of the Ukrainian President's Office Ihor Zhovkva says a summit to launch the Crimean Platform on efforts to end Russia's occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula is scheduled for August 23, 2021; foreign leaders are expected to participate.

"The date of the Crimean [Platform] Summit has already been set, that is August 23, 2021. The President's Office and the Foreign Ministry are jointly working on invitations for world leaders, as well as on a respective concept, the summit's agenda, and organizational aspects," he told the Ukrainian TSN TV news service, as reported by the President's Office on January 18.

Read alsoTurkish Foreign Minister confirms support for setting up Crimean PlatformZhovkva noted that the Crimean Platform Summit is designed to make decisions addressing the end of the Russian occupation of the peninsula.

"We don't hold the summit for the sake of the summit. We don't need to hold the summit and then forget this subject. Therefore, a declaration should obviously follow along, which is even more important, with coordinated international tools for the end of the occupation of Crimea and protection of Ukrainians there," he said.

The official added that the event would be linked with the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, which is marked on August 24.

During telephone conversations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invites foreign leaders to take part in the events, he said.

"We hope for a broad international presence on those two days," Zhovkva added.

Crimean 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.

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.