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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin by announcing on Monday the “countdown” to the de-occupation of Crimea, opening the international summit of the Crimean Platform that has gathered in Kyiv representatives of 46 countries.
“Today we announce the countdown to the day, when Crimea will be de-occupied,” Zelensky told the forum.
He added that the peninsula, which by its size exceeds the territory of some European countries, has been occupied by Russia for seven years, and “not one more day can be lost.”
“We have to start writing a new page in the history of Ukraine and in the history of Ukrainian Crimea,” he insisted.
To achieve its goal through political methods, Kyiv has developed a “strategy of de-occupation” of the peninsula, but needs the “joint effort” of the international community to confront Russian aggression.
The president assured that after the annexation of Crimea, it changed from a place of leisure and rest to “a military base.”
“The occupation of Crimea raises doubts about the international security system, particularly, regarding the non-viability of borders,” he pointed out and added that “no nation can feel safe” after the events of 2014.
Zelensky advanced that at the end of the meeting its participants will issue a joint statement in order not to allow the issue to remain off the international agenda.
“Ukraine and I personally are going to do everything possible to return Crimea, to make Crimea, together with Ukraine, a part of Europe,” he concluded.