We condemn Russia’s illegal occupation, which continues to jeopardise international peace five years after it began
Five years ago, Russia gravely challenged the idea of a peaceful and free Europe. With its aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia openly demonstrated its contempt for the principles of international law, and presented a serious threat to European security.
Today, the people of Ukraine are more united than ever in their support for their country’s European orientation. Ukraine still has many demanding tasks and reforms to implement, but impressive progress has been made despite ongoing Russian aggression. Ukraine of today is profoundly different from Ukraine pre-2014, and has never before been so close to Europe and European values. By contrast, Crimea under Russian occupation is moving backwards. The people living there are ever more isolated, and the situation with respect to human rights and socio-economic conditions continues to deteriorate.