Ayla Bakkalli, USA Representative of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis and USA member of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, has initiated an advocacy platform in Washington, D.C. in collaboration with Andrij Dobriansky, Director of Communications at the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), and Michael Sawkiw, Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS). In support of and continuation of this collaboration, the initiative has arranged for MP Mustafa Jemilev, leader of the indigenous Crimean Tatars to meet with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), at their respective Washington, DC offices this Thursday, September 17.
The meetings will be followed by joint Congressional reception celebrating 25 years of Ukraine's Independence. The objective of the meetings is to report on the depreciating situation of the indigenous Crimean Tatars in their native territory since the attempted illegal annexation and military occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation began in 2014.
This "Anti Annexation of Crimea Initiative” coordinates a program of constituent advocacy by building upon existing collaborations, informing and raising the discussion at the highest level in Washington DC against the attempted illegal annexation of Crimea. Included in this is the active promotion of legislation such as the Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act (H.R. 93), initially introduced in 2014 by Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA), as a direct response to the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.
H.R. 93 would firmly establish in law that the United States government will not recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, its territory, airspace and territorial waters, and may take no action that implies recognition of Russian sovereignty. This Act prohibits any federal department or agency from taking any action or extending any assistance that recognizes or implies recognition of the de jure or de facto sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea.