Ukraine will invite representatives of the Russian Federation to participate in the Crimean Summit to discuss the ways to de-occupy the peninsula, says First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar. “If they [representatives of the Russian Federation] come, we will be happy, we will ask all the questions we have, because Russia is responsible with the situation of human rights violations in Crimea. It would be good to discuss how Russia could de-occupy Crimea. Miracles happen, and if they start demonstrating a civilised position, we are ready to discuss that,” Dzheppar said in an interview with European media. “For us it’s crucial to invent a new instrument to get Crimea back,” she said, expressing the hope that the EU would support the initiative. Further, she explained that there was little awareness in the West about what Russia was doing on the peninsula, its militarisation, the crackdown on freedoms and “keeping 2.5 millions of Ukrainians as hostages”. At least have a million of Russians have been brought to the peninsula, she said. EU countries are divided in their approach to Russian relations. While Eastern countries like Poland have adopted a anti-Russian stance, other countries like Greece, Italy and France maintain good relations with Moscow. Asked what was the initial reaction in the EU capitals, Dzaparova said consultations with individual member countries had not yet started. She admitted, however, that “some countries focus on their own interest” when it comes to relations with Russia but expressed the view that on the issue of the annexation of Crimea, the position of all EU countries was “solid”. “For us, it is not crucial to have all European countries on board, attending Kyiv, for us, the most important is to start launching the format. All big things start small. So let’s start”, Dzaparova said. “We don’t have the illusion that tens of countries will join the summit, but for us it’s crucial to launch it,” she added. The ‘Crimean Platform’ is part of Ukraine’s strategy of de-occupation of Crimea which started since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in the spring of 2014. The Crimean platform is expected to work on several levels. The first is the highest political level, which will be joined by foreign heads of states. The second is the level of foreign ministers and defence ministers. The third is the inter-parliamentary level. And the fourth is the level of experts. The biggest highlight of the initiative is a “Crimean Summit” to be held in Kyiv. Tentative dates are under the discussion, including 21 May 2021. Dzaparova said a number of countries had expressed interest in attending the platform and the summit, mentioning Turkey, the US and the Baltic States. To the difference of Eastern Ukraine, which is in the focus of international attention thanks to the so-called Normandy format bringing together France, Germany and Russia, there was no such platform covering Crimea.