Crimea is Ukraine, and the United States will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation, Ambassador Gilmore tells Warsaw human rights conference September 17
PRESS RELEASE | September 18, 2019
The Russian Federation’s attempts to exploit civil society registration procedures at the OSCE’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw by “flooding the zone” with government-supported “non-governmental” organizations met with swift condemnation by the United States, Ukraine, and like-minded nations on September 17.
Moscow’s sham organizations attempted to use their speaking slots at an HDIM session on freedom of expression and the media to promote the spurious claim that Crimea was part of Russia, prompting the Ukrainian delegation to abandon the meeting hall in protest. In response, Ambassador Gilmore joined representatives of Canada, France, the European Union, and the United Kingdom in forcefully rebutting the false claim. “Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, and the United States never will recognize Russia’s purported annexation of it,” Gilmore asserted. “Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Moscow returns full control over the peninsula to Ukraine.” His remarks drew applause from legitimate civil society organizations in the plenary hall, a rarity at the conference, and the Ukrainian delegation returned for the subsequent HDIM session on democracy and democratic institutions.
The Ambassador and his colleagues in subsequent statements defended the elections monitoring role of the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from Russian criticism over alleged bias, maintaining that the organizations’ efforts remained the international “gold standard” and aided participating States in upholding their associated international commitments.
HDIM will continue until September 27 and features participants from the OSCE’s 57 participating States, Secretariat and Independent Institutions, and over 1700 registered civil society representatives and organizations.
For additional information, please contact:
U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Elaine A. Paplos, Counselor for Public Affairs