RT and other Russian media focused on OSCE Special Representative Martin Sajdik this week, who during a question and answer session at the Salzburg Europe Summit said that in order to have a more objective understanding of Crimea one has to take into account the fact that “Crimea had been part of Russia for many years”. RT and others claim that Sajdik’s statement shows that Crimea is no longer part of the discussion and the question of who does Crimea belong to is finally closed.  The reality, of course, is quite different from these Russian media claims, the illegal annexation of Crimea remains an important topic in the United States and Europe as well as in many international organizations.

Website rt.com
Website screenshot osce.usmission.gov

International organizations are gradually becoming aware that the peninsula has reunited with mainland Russia for objective reasons, it’s time to return to earlier relations with Russia and start phasing out sanctions, RT writes.

Website screenshot aljazeera.com
Website consilium.europa.eu

No matter how much Russia and its media claim that Russia’s seizure of Crimea is a done deal and will soon be recognized, the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula continues to be a pressing topic in many countries, where the issue of sanctions is regularly raised and those sanctions are always extended.

In October 2019 in a speech to the OSCE Permanent Council US Deputy Political Counselor Lane Darnell Bahl said “We do not recognize and will never recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea”.

In the US Congress the House of Representatives passed the Crimea Non-recognition Act which defines the American policy of “non-recognition of Russian sovereignty Crimea”.

In an interview with Al Jazeera the incoming EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said he plans to focus on the Balkans and the eastern neighbors of Europe, while urging the bloc to firmly adhere to sanctions against Russia. 

“Until such time as Russia changes its attitude on Crimea and territorial violations, those sanctions must remain,” he said.

One of the last resolutions passed by the writers’ organization PEN International also focuses on the violations and restrictions on freedom of speech and expression in occupied Crimea.

Commenting Martin Sajdik’s statement Ukraine’s Ambassador to Austria Oleksander Shcherba pointed out that the “the international community is monolithic in its assessment of the Crimean annexation”.