On August 23rd, Ukraine hosted the inaugural Crimea Platform Summit to “demonstrate international unity around the position affirming that Crimea is Ukraine.” This effort to return the occupation of Crimea to the global agenda comes over seven years after Russia illegally annexed the Peninsula in March of 2014.
45 countries and international organizations confirmed attendance at the Summit and were represented at the following levels:
The presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, and the European Council; the prime ministers of Georgia, Romania, Croatia, and Sweden; the speakers of the parliaments of Switzerland and the Czech Republic; the foreign ministers of Turkey, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and North Macedonia; the defense ministers of Britain and Portugal; the Secretary of State to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway; the Vice President of the European Commission; the Deputy Secretary General of NATO; the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and GUAM; and ambassadors from New Zealand, Malta, Japan, Australia, Cyprus, Iceland, Greece, and Canada.
The US delegation – which was assigned a presidential status – comprised the Secretary of Energy, the interim Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Kyiv, and the Assistant Secretary for International Relations.
The participants approved a Joint Declaration formulating the main aspects of international policy towards Crimea. The Summit also formally launched the activity of the Crimea Platform, a new international coordination format intended to increase the effectiveness of the international response to the Russian occupation of Crimea and growing security threats, prevent further human rights violations, protect victims of the occupation regime, and ultimately achieve the de-occupation of Crimea and its re-integration into Ukraine.
The Crimea Platform will unite governmental, parliamentary, expert, and local levels. The key non-governmental dimension is the Expert Network, which hosted its inaugural forum on August 6th. USUF’s partner organization, the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy (POID) in Kyiv, is represented on the Crimea Platform Expert Network by senior expert Natalya Belitser.