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Ukraine opens criminal cases against European politicians for their visits to Crimea

December 08, 2015, 16:26 UTC+3 KIEV
According to Ukraine's Foreign Minister, these cases were opened at the foreign ministry’s request on charges of violations of the procedure of "entry to the occupied territory"
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Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Crimea

Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Crimea

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

KIEV, December 8. /TASS/. Criminal cases have been initiated in Ukraine against a number of European politicians who visited Crimea after its reunification with Russia.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Tuesday, summing up the results of the ministry’s activities in the outgoing year, these cases had been opened at the foreign ministry’s request on charges of violations of the procedure of "entry to the occupied territory."

In July, Ukraine’s Security Service imposed a three-year entry ban on ten French lawmakers after their visit to Crimea. In September, the Ukrainian foreign ministry condemned a Crimean trip by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Later, the Ukrainian Security Service banned Berlusconi to enter Ukraine.

Amid a political crisis and the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council (parliament) and Sevastopol’s City Council adopted on March 11, 2014 Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s declaration of independence. A referendum on reunification with Russia was held on March 16, 2014. With a record-breaking turnout of 80%, the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s and Sevastopol residents, mostly ethic Russians, (96.7 and 95.6%, respectively) voted in favour of ceding from Ukraine to join Russia. After the treaty of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia was approved by the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin on March 21, 2014 signed a federal law on admitting two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation.

Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have been refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.

Following the referendum in Crimea and its subsequent reunification with Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a special decree outlining concrete measures on the rehabilitation of Crimea’s deported peoples.

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