BRUSSELS, Decembe 24. /TASS/. The European Union may make a bureaucratic mistake by reporting on its decision to impose new sanctions against Crimea, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Wednesday.
“It is surprising that in an unusual manner, the European Union placed a draft decision on the Official Journal website before it was taken — either it was used to influence the floating EU members or it was the bureaucratic mistake,” Chizhov said.
The EU restrictive measures produced “a strange impression,” he said.
“Now the latest measures towards Crimea are unfounded and aimed against the population. The inevitable logical question arises: the EU does not recognize Crimea’s transfer under the jurisdiction of Russia and considers it part of Ukraine. But first of all, the EU punishes the Crimean population for the fact that it thinks differently,” Chizhov said.
“If we take a formal position, we can say the anti-Crimean sanctions should be called anti-Ukrainian in the EU interpretation if it considers Crimea part of Ukraine,” he said.
“The position turned out to be politicized and paradoxical. Of course, it won’t help make Crimeans well disposed towards the EU. If we go back to the values the EU talks about, this is behind the moral high ground that the EU is so proud of,” Chizhov said.
The European Union imposed new sanctions against Crimea on December 18 and they entered into force on December 20. EU businessmen are prohibited from making investments in the peninsula’s economy, to buy immovable property there, to build infrastructure and offer tourism services. European cruise ships are banned from calling at the peninsula’s ports. The EU imposes a ban on supplies of some categories of goods and technology to Crimea, transport, telecommunications, production and exploration of oil, gas and mineral resources.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.