Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has pledged that Kyiv will restore Ukrainian rule over the Russia-annexed region of Crimea. President Zelensky went on to describe a future “liberated” Crimean peninsular becoming a European trade hub as part of an expanded EU, including a victorious Ukraine.
President Zelensky told the Crimea Platform summit: “To overcome terror, it is necessary to gain victory in the fight against Russian aggression. It is necessary to liberate Crimea.
“This will be the resuscitation of world law and order”
He added: “Ukraine’s restoration of control over Crimea will be a historic anti-war step in Europe. This will restore security and provide justice, reintegrate Crimea into the modern world
“It will allow every one of us the participants of the Crimean platform to tell our children or relatives that they can be proud of us as peacemakers.”
“I want to emphasise for Ukraine, Crimea is not just some territory, not a figure in the geopolitical game, as in the case of the terrorist state,” continued the Ukrainian President.
“For Ukraine, Crimea is a part of our people, our society, like a community of people to whom we guarantee freedom and restore modern existence Crimea is and was Ukrainian, and after the occupation, along with our entire state it will become part of the European Union and I’m sure about this.
“The passport of the citizen of Ukraine will also be the passport of the European Union.
“These are colossal opportunities for all of our people live in Crimea, the roads of Crimea will be the roads of the entire European continent, the ports of Crimea will be the ports of all Europe.”
Zelensky said representatives of about 60 states and international organisations were taking part in the summit, including about 40 presidents and prime ministers. Almost all were participating online but Polish President Andrzei Duda attended during a visit to Kyiv.
Russia shows no sign of abandoning Crimea, home to its Black Sea fleet, and has used the peninsula as a platform to launch missile strikes on Ukrainian targets.
“Despite (Russian) threats, Ukraine is strong enough to see the prospects for Ukrainian Crimea,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine’s restoration of control over the Crimea peninsula will be an historic anti-war step in Europe restoring security and justice.”
He said Russia had turned Crimea into “an ecological disaster zone and a military springboard for aggression”, using it to fire 750 cruise missiles at “cities and communities”.