Ukraine condemns statement by Italian minister regarding Crimea

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin has reported that those who justify Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the violations of international law associated with these actions will pay for it.

This statement was made by the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter on July 20th, commenting on the words of the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, who had claimed in an interview with The Washington Post that Russia had the right to annex Ukrainian Crimea, and called the revolution in Ukraine a “pseudo-revolution.”

“Whoever justifies the annexation, whoever does not believe that there is such a thing as international law—will pay for it. So it has always been throughout history. But in regard to Maidan—we’ve earned the right to refute these words. After all, this was done by Ukrainians. And we have ourselves paid dearly for freedom,” emphasized Klimkin.

In an official statement, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the position of the Italian politician as “not grounded in real facts and contradictory to the established principles and norms of international law.”

“We expect that the Italian government once again will condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine in the occupation of Crimea and Donbass. We are certain that the careless statements and claims of individual politicians will not cast doubt upon the firm position of the international community in support of Ukraine and the restoration of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Olena Zerkal, in an interview on Kanal 5 (Channel 5), said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted the Italian ambassador to Ukraine Davide La Cecilia concerning Salvini’s statements.

“We are responding. On Monday we will be meeting with the Italian ambassador,” said Zerkal.

Additionally, she noted that the Italian ambassador “is a very pleasant person” and that he “cannot be held responsible for the words of Italian politicians, especially considering that this politician (Matteo Salvini) has travelled to Crimea, and only just returned from Moscow, where, according to our information, he met with Putin.”

Salvini is the head of the Lega Party (formerly named Lega Nord), which is suspected of having close ties with Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party, and in particular of receiving financial support from them. However, Salvini,  in the same interview with The Washington Post, denied that his party had received Russian money.

  Ukraine, Crimea, Italy