Crimean Tatars called for “international intervention” against the Russian occupation of their homeland on Sunday.
In a statement issued at the end of a two-day meeting in Turkish capital Ankara, the forum of 184 Crieman Tatar groups from 12 countries said the freedoms and rights of their compatriots “forced to live under Russian occupation… must be ensured under the supervision of international institutions and prompt and robust international intervention must be made.”
Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine in March last year in the aftermath of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's overthrow. The UN has declared the referendum that led to the annexation illegal and the international community largely recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine. The EU, the U.S. and other countries imposed sanctions on Russia following the annexation.
A statement from the Second World Crimean Tatars Congress added that the annexation “cannot be accepted under any circumstances. All necessary measures must be taken to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”
The group also called for “those who acted with a view to annihilating the Crimean Tatar people” to be brought to justice, as well as for the payment of reparations.
It demanded that Turkey “strictly apply sanctions on Russia”.
Naci Bostanci, deputy speaker of the Turkish parliament, and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus attended the congress, along with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
The first congress was held in 2009 in Crimea. Next congress is scheduled for 2019 and is planned to take place in freed Crimea, if occupation continues the congress will be held in Ukrainian capital Kyiv.