The United States asserted that sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia fully implements its Minsk commitments and returns control of Crimea to Ukraine.
During an online meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE James S. Gilmore said, “We join our European and other partners in affirming that our Minsk-related sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia fully implements its Minsk commitments. The Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”
The ambassador called on Russia to end its campaign of oppression in Crimea, return full control of the peninsula to Ukraine, and release all Ukrainian political prisoners.
“We are also deeply concerned by reports that Russia detained a member of the Ukrainian military on Ukrainian soil in Crimea on June 3– one person. We urge Russia to end its campaign of oppression in Crimea, return full control of the peninsula to Ukraine, immediately release all Ukrainians it has unjustly imprisoned, and withdraw its forces and materiel from eastern Ukraine,” Gilmore noted.
According to new monitoring data released this week by the Crimea Human Rights Group, occupation authorities have prosecuted over 100 young Crimean men on draft evasion charges for refusing to serve in the Army of the Occupier.
“The United States fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters. We do not, nor will we ever, recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea,” the U.S. ambassador stressed.