On Monday, December 9, in the office of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, a meeting was held between the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, MP of Ukraine Mustafa Dzhemilev, the chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov and members of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov, Riza Shevkiev, Eskender Bariiev, and Gayana Yuksel with the Ambassador of France to Ukraine Etienne de Montaigne de Poncins.
Ambassador Etienne de Montaigne de Poncins noted that this meeting is symbolic as it is held on the same day as the meeting in Paris of the Normandy four: leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia.
During the conversation, the parties exchanged views on the current situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea with regard to the human rights, outrageous restrictions on freedom of speech, and persecutions of Crimean Tatar activists and their families. The parties also discussed possible steps towards the liberation of Ukrainian political prisoners, the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea.
Mustafa Dzhemilev stressed the importance of finding and implementing effective formats for international negotiations on the Ukrainian issue. In particular, by forming a possible unified international platform for discussing the issue of the de-occupation of Crimea and the return of Donbas with the direct participation of the signatory states of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
During the meeting, Eskender Bariiev called on the French side to be one of the initiators of the consultations on the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its security in accordance with paragraph 6 of the Budapest memorandum. He also drew Ambassador’s attention to paragraph 4 of the document, according to which the signed countries confirm their commitment to urgent action by the UN Security Council to assist Ukraine as a state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the event that Ukraine becomes a victim of an act of aggression.
In addition, the Head of CTRC emphasized that the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people is the only legitimate body that was elected before the occupation of Crimea and is operating to this day. Therefore, according to Bariiev, it is necessary to take into account the participation of representatives of Mejlis in all international formats of negotiations regarding the issue of occupied Crimea.
Also, Eskender Bariiev handed the Ambassador a booklet on political prisoners of Crimea in English, prepared by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center. Later, the CTRC will send the French Embassy additional materials regarding human rights violations in the occupied Crimea.
At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed on the implementation of continuous and systemic interaction between the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and the French Embassy in Ukraine.