The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine calls on the Russian Federation not to engage in political bullying and underscores that Russia has no other status in Crimea than occupying power.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleg Nikolenko made a corresponding comment in response to the statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova about the alleged "illegitimacy" of Ukraine's efforts to return the occupied Crimea.
"Russia has no other status in Crimea than occupying power. Allegations of encroaching on the ‘territorial integrity of Russia’ is an example of a distorted perception of reality. A thief does not acquire legal ownership of a stolen item. Russia's internationally recognized borders have long been known. They do not include Crimea and Sevastopol," Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said.
Nikolenko noted that the threats of the Russian Foreign Ministry against Ukraine and other member states of the Crimean Platform were yet another manifestation of the ongoing marginalization of Russian foreign policy.
He also stressed that Russia's actions in Crimea received a clear international legal definition of an act of aggression at the UN level.
According to Nikolenko, the level of support that Ukraine receives at the stage of promoting a new international format and the efforts made by Russia to discredit this initiative testify that a correct path was chosen.
He said that the national strategy approved by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the currently created Crimean Platform aimed to make efforts to de-occupy Crimea consistent.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that all Kyiv's efforts to return Crimea were "illegitimate" and could be perceived as a "threat of aggression against the two subjects of the Russian Federation", while the participation of any countries and organizations in such actions, including the Crimean Platform initiative, would be seen "as an unfriendly step towards Russia and a direct encroachment on its territorial integrity."