14 May 2018 19:21

Konovalov says Russia ready to ensure presence of int'l observers in Crimea for inspecting observance of human rights

GENEVA. May 14 (Interfax) - Russia expresses readiness to ensure the presence of international observers in Crimea, Russian Acting Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said.

"The Russian Federation is ready to ensure the presence, in the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, of representatives of relevant international organizations, international observers, providing that these visits are performed within general attitude towards Russian territory, without any exemptions or reservations," Konovalov said at a meeting of the UN Universal Periodic Review Working Group in Geneva on Monday in commenting on the issue of human rights violations in Crimea.

When asked questions about Crimea, Konovalov also rejected the formula "occupied Crimea" used by representatives of several countries as unacceptable.

"We strongly reject the statements about Crimea's occupation. The Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol have joined the Russian Federation as a result of a referendum. The population of Crimea realized its right to self-determination," Konovalov said.

Russia is one of 14 countries, whose report is being considered by the UN Universal Periodic Review Working Group these days. The first and second reports were reviewed in February 2009 and April 2013, respectively.