The European Union condemned the illegal searches and detention of five Crimean Tatar leaders by Russia in occupied Crimea.
This was said in a statement by Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, published on the website of the European External Action Service.
"The European Union condemns the searches in the illegally annexed Crimea by Russia which resulted in the detention by Russia of five Crimean Tatar leaders (Eldar Odamanov, Aziz Akhtemov, Nariman Dzhelial, Shevket Useinov and Asan Akhtemov) and up to 50 people on September 3 and 4," the statement reads.
The European Union considers the detentions to be politically motivated and illegal under international law.
The EU said it does not recognise the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and Sevastopol and expects all illegally detained Ukrainians to be released without delay.
"Crimean Tatars continue to be targeted in Crimea. The European Union calls on the Russian Federation to comply with its obligations under international law and stop human rights violations of Crimea residents, as also stated on 23 August 2021 in the common statement of the International Crimean Platform Summit," it added.
The official statement reiterated the European Union's unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
"The EU does not, and will not, recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia," it concluded.