UNITED NATIONS, November 18. /TASS/. The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly has Wednesday adopted the Ukraine-sponsored resolution condemning alleged human rights violations in Crimea, as the resolution was supported by 63 countries, 85 abstained and 22 opposed it. The document has been considered annually since 2016 and is not mandatory.
The resolution in particular calls on Russia "to take all measures necessary to bring an immediate end to all violations and abuses against residents of Crimea." The document notes "discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detentions and arrests, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, sexual and gender-based violence, including to compel apprehended persons to self-incriminate or ‘cooperate’ with law enforcement" among these abuses.
Moscow is urged "to repeal laws imposed in Crimea by the Russian Federation that allow for forced evictions and the confiscation of private property, including land in Crimea, in violation of applicable international law."
The resolution also calls on Russia "to respect the right to freedom of religion or belief and guarantee its enjoyment by all residents of Crimea, including but not limited to parishioners of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Muslim Crimean-Tatars and Jehovah’s Witnesses."
Russia’s deputy permanent envoy Gennady Kuzmin said that "the resolution co-authors had been trying to punish Crimea’s population for their free choice in favor of Russia by shedding "crocodile tears" about Crimeans."
"The Crimean population realized the right to self-determination, enshrined in the UN Charter, through a free and peaceful vote that was held in accordance with all international standards," he recalled. "Any discussions about the peninsula’s reunification with Russia are pointless."
"Russia guarantees respect for human rights across its territory, including Crimea," Kuzmin underlined.
He also emphasized, "the US and European countries have been enacting illegal unilateral sanctions since 2014 aimed at precisely hurting interests of Crimeans." "I don’t even want to mention Ukraine," the diplomat added. "How did Kiev express ‘care’ about Crimeans? I’ll remind you. In winter 2015, Kiev stopped supplying electricity to 575 inhabited communities, where almost half of the peninsula’s population lived," he noted adding that Ukraine also blocked off water supply to Crimea.
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Eighty percent of the voting population participated in the referendum. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.