Ukraine has resumed the process of developing a strategy for regaining control over Crimea, most of which will be classified, especially security issues, stated the permanent representative of the Ukrainian president in Crimea Anton Korynevych in an interview with Ukrinform.
"Part of this strategy should be open to public, so that people can see what the state is doing to take back the temporarily occupied territories and the population that lives there. But, of course, most of it should be closed and classified," Korynevych said.
Korynevych noted the importance of creating a unified strategy to regain control over this territory, as the annexation of the peninsula is already in its seventh year. Some of the developments are already used by various departments, including the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories, but they all need to be put together, Korynevych added.
A working group which is part of the Ukrainian Ministry of Reintegration, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Oleksii Reznikov, has also been set up for this purpose.
The Ukrainian President’s representative did not name a clear time frame for the creation of the strategy but concluded that Ukraine hopes to develop it as early as this year.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba named three tactical tasks that Kyiv must solve to regain control over Crimea, which was annexed by Russia. Among them are keeping the Crimean issue on the strategic agenda, ensuring the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed on Russia and using additional instruments of international pressure on Moscow.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.