Ukrainian Foreign Minister visits Berlin (June 2)

A call for a clear rejection of Trump's plans to invite Russia to the G7 (Press Release)

In the course of today's talks between the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and the German Federal Government, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) expects the German Federal Government to clearly reject plans of US President Donald Trump to invite Russia to conferences of the G7 states again. "Crimea is still occupied by Russia. This breach of international law must not be without consequences! Supporting Putin's regime by inviting Russia to the G7 Summit would be a devastating signal," emphasized Ulrich Delius, the STP's Director, in Göttingen on Tuesday. Kuleba, who is accompanied by several Ukrainian ministers, will meet with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Defense Minister Annegret Kamp-Karrenbauer, and several advisers. 

The human rights organization criticizes the systematic violations of freedom of opinion and freedom of the press on the peninsula, which was occupied by Russia six years ago. The organization stated that Russia is putting a lot of effort into forcing the media into line and silencing critical media workers. "The approximately 370 attacks on radio and television stations, print media, and social media since the beginning of the Russian occupation clearly show that Russia will not stop asserting its interests on the peninsula," Delius said. "This is not the time to start normalizing relations with Moscow!" At least ten media workers and bloggers are currently kept detained for political reasons, mostly Crimean Tatars. The STP recalled the imprisonment of Crimean Tatar journalists Osman Arifmemetov and Remzi Bekirov in March 2019, after being accused of supporting terrorism because they had publicly criticized the Russian occupation. "With dubious accusations of terrorism, massive intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and rigid registration rules, the Russian authorities are trying to force independent media workers to flee from Crimea," Delius criticized.

The STP pointed out that the number of media houses in Crimea has meanwhile dropped to less than one tenth of the number before the occupation: of the around 3,000 media houses that existed before 2014, only 232 have been able to comply with the strict rules for re-registration under the occupying power. But even media houses that sought refuge in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, such as the television station ATR TV, are suffering from Russian reprisals. Its broadcasts are blocked in Crimean Tatar settlements, and the Deputy General Director, Ayder Muzhdabaev, was accused of "terrorism". Lenur Islamov, the owner of the TV station is being tried in absentia in an anti-terrorism trial. "The deliberate violations of media freedom are just examples of how the Crimean Tatars are systematically denied their civil rights and of how traditional structures in Crimea are being destroyed in order to secure Russia's claim to power," Delius stated.