The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 30 August 2023.
The Foreign Secretary James Cleverly addressed the International Crimea Platform Summit 2023 via a pre-recorded video.
Thank you, President Zelenskyy, for bringing us together for this important discussion.
When you established the International Crimea Platform two years ago, the UK committed its support to this important initiative to strengthen the global response against Russia’s illegal annexation.
Our commitment to that undertaking hasn’t just endured, it has increased.
Two years ago, none of us imagined the challenges we would all now face.
But we have risen to the occasion, no one more so than the Ukrainian people.
We are more united, more determined and more emboldened than ever before.
As Crimea is a crucial part of the focus on Ukraine, it is only right that it remains at the centre of our discussions.
As with Russia’s wider presence in Ukraine, it is civilians who have had to bear the brunt in Crimea.
Houses searched, arbitrary arrests, illegal conscription, continuous abductions and reports of torture have revealed Putin’s chilling indifference to human life.
You don’t liberate a country by sending its children to re-educations camps abroad. You don’t free people by suppression, subjugation, and the curtailing of democracy.
The moral contract between Kyiv and the Kremlin is stark.
Ukraine offers democracy, Russia tyranny.
Ukraine strives to protect human rights. Russia disregards them.
Like our Ukrainian friends, the UK works tirelessly to promote and protect human rights in Crimea by supporting human rights defenders and the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission.
Together, we will hold those responsible for human rights violations and abuses to account. Just as we will hold Putin to account for withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative – an act that deprives the world’s most vulnerable of desperately needed food and supplies.
Be in no doubt, the UK and the international community will never recognise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, or any Ukrainian territory, and will stand with you for as long as it takes.
Let me end by wishing Ukraine a happy Independence Day for tomorrow. Your defiance, your strength and your resilience are an inspiration to us all.