BRUSSELS (QHA) -

Head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov, bannished form Crimea for 5 years, has called on the European Union to increase its sanctions against Russia over taking Crimea in March 2014.

Chubarov was speaking at the Security and Defense Committee meeting held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday.

"Russia's commitments for more economic welfare, and more pre-annexation rights and freedoms have evaporated," said Chubarov, noting that threats, blackmail, detention and trials against members of his community have increased.

Chubarov also accused Russia of attempting to silence people by banning the publication of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar newspapers, and closing schools which give Ukrainian-language classes.

"A total of 14 Tatar schools are under the same threat and the Crimean Tatar television ATR will be shut down soon," Chubarov said.

He called on the EU not to give up imposing sanctions on Russia unless Crimea was returned to Ukraine.

QHA