24 Oct 2019 18:47

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry suggests beginning talks over Crimea

KYIV. Oct 24 (Interfax) - Ukraine is ready for any format of negotiation on reclaiming its sovereignty over Crimea, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kateryna Zelenko said.

"In addition to the Normandy negotiation, whose aim is to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the Russian-occupied parts of our Donetsk and Luhansk regions, we are prepared for talks in any format whose main aim is to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which today are occupied by Russia," Zelenko told Interfax on Thursday.

Russia committed an international crime against Ukraine, she said. "Yet again, we remind Russia that, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it is Ukraine who is a littoral state in the Black and Azov Seas and the Kerch Strait in the waters off Ukrainian Crimea," Zelenko said.

Crimea remained an autonomous republic of Ukraine after the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became independent. The republic joined Russia in March 2014 following the national referendum. Ukraine declined to recognize the results of the referendum and described the peninsula as its temporarily occupied territory. EU countries and the United States called Russia's actions annexation and imposed sanctions on a number of companies, politicians, and businessmen. Russia said the topic of Crimea was closed permanently.