The following was released by the North Atlantic Council, the principal political decision-making body of NATO.

“Five years ago, Russia used force against Ukraine to illegally and illegitimately annex Crimea. This violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is a serious breach of international law and a major challenge to Euro-Atlantic security. We strongly condemn this act, which we do not and will not recognise. We call on Russia to return control of Crimea to Ukraine. We reiterate our full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and territorial waters. Crimea is the territory of Ukraine.

Allies are deeply concerned by the human rights abuses and violations being carried out by the Russian de-facto authorities in illegally annexed Crimea against Ukrainians, the Crimean Tatars, and members of other local communities. These violations include extrajudicial killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, violence, arbitrary detentions, arrest, and torture. Despite the 2017 Order of the International Court of Justice, the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars’ self-governing body, remains under persecution and is banned in its homeland.

NATO calls on Russia to bring an immediate end to all violations and abuses in illegally annexed Crimea, to release Ukrainian political prisoners and hostages, and to grant international monitoring organisations access to Crimea. Any attempts to legitimise or normalise the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea must end, including the automatic imposition of Russian citizenship, forced population movements, conscription in the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and illegal holding of Russian election campaigns.

We condemn Russia’s ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea, and are concerned by Russia’s efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region. We also condemn Russia’s construction of the Kerch Strait bridge, which represents another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and is imposing additional hardship on Ukraine’s economy. Russia’s unjustified use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel near the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait in November 2018 is part of the larger pattern of Russian aggressive actions in the region. In line with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 73/194 from 17 December 2018, we call on Russia to unconditionally release the Ukrainian crew members it detained, to return the captured vessels and to comply with its international commitments by ensuring unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and allowing freedom of navigation.

NATO’s response to address Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine has been alongside and in support of an overall international effort, which has included sanctions. There can be no return to “business as usual” until there is a clear, constructive change in Russia’s actions that demonstrates compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities.”

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Ulya
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Ulya

Looking forward to some interesting comments

Keithdwat
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Keithdwat

What’s your opinion on Crimea out of interest Ulya, you are Russian I believe?

Ulya
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Ulya

I am Keithdwat, the west see’s Crimea as a problem that needs to be fixed, Russia see’s a problem that has been fixed. While I understand many here will disagree, Crimea is Russian, no sanctions, political pressure or threat of war will change that. Europe will eventually come around and accept this as our gas to their economy is more important, the US/UK will not but thats irrelevant

keithdwat
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keithdwat

Yes, I can without a doubt see that, Crimean people wish to be Russian, then it should be in my opinion, although I doubt it was a good idea to annex the whole thing! Its good that Russia stands with its people, as every nation should, I for one dont always believe the recent anti Russian hysteria myself, although I do believe russia is a growing threat to us unfortunately, I wish it wasn’t the case but it is, I do love the Russian people, the ones Ive met anyway!

Ulya
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Ulya

Keithdwat, either all Crimea came back to Russia or none did, I do not know how it could be otherwise. As for Russia being a threat, this I understand from your point of view, and from mine the west is becoming more of a threat, we both could make a list of each sides sins, real and perceived, that is the easy part, the hard part is listening to each other, respecting each others concerns and trying to find a solution, under the current situation that is now next to impossible I think, no one is listening. Like you I… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Some interesting comments indeed below, and not one mention of the referendum in Crimea, not one mention that the majority in Crimea are ethnic Russians, not one mention that any rational geopolitical thinker knew as soon as we started messing with Ukraine Russia would retaliate in some way. Not one mention of the wikileaks emails that show the US establishment knee deep with Ukrainian ogliarchs, millions paid into the Clinton foundation since the coup. I’m sure if there were concrete proof of Russia having a hand in a coup in Canada, installing a pro Russian leader the US would just… Read more »

dave12
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dave12

Wasnt the referendum not monitored by a independent world organization ? and going by how Putin likes to stay in power ,a Russian organized refererndum after he sent in the troops is a fair way to go about it? thats if you believe referendum was democratically orchestrated.

keithdwat
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keithdwat

I completely agree, the people of Crimea wish to be Russian, which is fine, and in a way the Russians are simply protecting their own people. That referendum was fair, it never gets mentioned anywhere. I have never fully gone against Russia for Crimea because of this. And lets not forget the Americans, particularly Joe Biden and Clinton had a massive play in what went down.
But, still doesn’t mean you should annex the entire place, and if my predictions are true then the Russians won’t end with Crimea, they want more of the old union back!

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

on ethnic origins, presumably you have no problem with China taking Taiwan or North Korea taking he South or South Africa annexing Botswana or… maybe at a push there are ethnic Spaniards in Gibraltar so why not

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

The glaring problem there is that the people of Taiwan do not want to become part of China, the people of S Korea do not want to be taken over by N Korea, the people of Gibraltar do not want to be part of Spain.

The people of Crimea are PRO RUSSIAN! they always have been, just like eastern Ukraine is.

Why is it so hard for people to comprehend this fact.

dave12
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dave12

sole ,you have not answer my question and neither did your Russian friend uyla answer my question on photo evidence of the novichoks attack or the video evidence on the OPCW HQ hacking , it seems you pro Russians like Putins goverment dont like it.

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

If you go in Crimea today and ask everybody you meet, what do they think on the issue, most will tell you that they strongly support what has happened. Everybody who comes to Crimea, as far as I know, has this experience. But let’s dig into professional polls. I’ll use information from English Wikipedia and other open sources. 2008: polling by the Razumkov Centre (Ukraine) found that 63.8% of Crimeans would like Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia and 53.8% would like to preserve its current status, but with expanded powers and rights. Link to the poll on… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

NATO can kiss the Russian a**s only….Thats it)))
If Crimea is occupied by Russia, so why 1000s of people celebrating this day in Crimea ? Watch Crimea TV ,not USA bollocks

Ollie Beckett
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Ollie Beckett

yet NATO continues to do nothing, sanctions haven’t worked, political pressure hasn’t worked. At what time do we consider the military option?

Lee1
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Lee1

Unfortunately it is too late for that now. We should have sent “Peacekeeping troops” to help the Russian “Peacekeepers” in before they annexed it in order to call their bluff.

Elliott
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Elliott

And then London would be a glowing irradiated sheet of glass. Architectural improvement aside the loss of life the loss of life would be considered a tragedy. Even more so due to it being a avoidable tragedy brought on by the governments of Western Europe.

dave12
Guest
dave12

I have read some articles one being F.T saying sanctions are starting work on Russia ,the value of the ruble has slumpt ,they cant even afford a national pension which is sad but their military spending has been reduced ,still doesnt stop them starting nuclear arms race with the US though.

Elliott
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Elliott

You do realize that they are just going to hate you even more if you destroy their economy. What you risk is creating a new Russian strongman who comes to power with words such as “Pay any cost. Bear any burdens.” Sacrifice is not the exclusive province of any one people or nation.

dave12
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dave12

You do realize Russia has the most nuclear missiles in the world, and I would say putin has bought on himself with his actions all of which I have mentioned before.
His economy in a dire state has mostly to do with the way he has run it, sanctions has just made it a little bit tighter for putin and his friends.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

And yet the people will see sanctions and that the economy was growing before them.
My point is people like you constantly wish for Putin to be gone. Without realizing the level of “you’re gonna miss me when i’m gone” you are setting yourselves up for. You have no idea who would replace him and therefore you are like insolent and undisciplined children playing with a arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Keithdwat
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Keithdwat

Battle of Britain??

Andrew
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Andrew

Ollie,

Why would Nato get involved militarily? Ukraine is not a member of Nato…

However the USA and the UK both gave assurances towards Ukraine if they gave up the inherited soviet nuclear weapons, the ‘Budapest memorandum ‘, though as history has shown, a memorandum wasn’t the most effective way of guaranteeing security….

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

A Russian gender free spokes person says…” We are not to blame. It is all the fault of the west for encouraging freedom.If the wicked Ukrainians would stop falling over when we fire our guns and stop their boats attacking our warships and causing a fuss we would be able to take over the country peacefully.”

dave12
Guest
dave12

lol spot on.

David Steeper
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Seconded.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

So, It’s taken five Years to respond, In Writing !!!!

You have to wonder at the whole NATO Response In Times of War will be like.

As for Europe’s Response to this ? Reckon They would have put up a Hell of a Fight If Crimea was a Member Nation and “Did a Brexit”.

(Shakes head, Tut’s in Disgust, Retires to the Shed muttering and Cursing)

David Steeper
Guest

The disturbing aspect of Putins behaviour in not just Ukraine but Georgia as well is that the Chinese leader seems to be very impressed by him. This does not bode well for her neighbours.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Yup, history Repeating Itself, If I’m not Mistaken.

Russia Is not Our Enemy. Well actually, The Russian People are not our Enemies, Politics and Ego’s most definitely are though.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Not a lot Nato can do in Ukraine in truth. Any meddling with a loud voice and small stick will just make Nato look weak and encourage Russia. What really needs to happen is that Nato takes on the learning from Russia’s war in peace play book and ensure the treaty is able to deal with this. Nato also needs to ensure the red line of the three Baltic states is hammered home, this means significant troops on the ground from the main Nato powers ( US, UK, French) and clear lines of reinforcement ( why are amphips should be… Read more »

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

The Baltic States are a death trap and never should have been allowed into NATO. The expansion if it should have been done at all should have ended with Poland and Romania. Those are the last two States capable of supporting an army worthy of the name. Poland and Romania are the last two countries heading east where a defensive line is even geographically possible. The Baltic States are tiny with correspondingly tiny militaries. To make matters worse they are all within reach of massive Russian military bases and their anti-air missiles. If that wasn’t enough the flight time from… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a lover of NATO expansion and think it was a mistake but we are where we are and when it comes to authoritarian dictatorships showing weakness is a fast track to war.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest

Agree Elliott.

Ymnitsa
Guest

What has Crimea got to do with NATO!

Topboy
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Topboy

Russia had to take Crimea, they couldn’t possibly loose access to the Black Sea/Mediterranean sea. Would be a massive blow to Russian power projection and influence if they lost Ukraine to NATO/EU

Sean
Guest
Sean

That was the big problem, the EUs wreckesss policy of further integration (which caused the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis) and further expansion (which brought about Russia’s invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine). Time and again Russia has seen former satellites join the EU and then NATO, it was never going to allow Ukraine to follow that path.

Ian
Guest
Ian

I am a loyal Brit but I have to say that we and the U.S. need to look in the mirror before condemning Russia on this one because I believe the U.N. Recently condemned the illegal occupation of the Chagos islands, one of which is Diego Garcia, a huge U.S. base (Naval and Air). We literally kicked the Chagossians off the islands many years ago and when the U.N. Made its declaration just weeks ago, we said that we would relinquish the islands back to the population when they are no longer required militarily. I love my country, I support… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest

Ah.

So others apart from Sole and I see it too.

Spot on Ian.

Watch out for Troll status though…

david Steeper
Guest

All of a sudden there are a lot of RT viewers (being generous) on this website.

dave12
Guest
dave12

You know it lol!!!

Slava
Guest
Slava

I am Crimean living in UK for 16 year’s. Crimea has been Russian territory for centuries and historically it is very important to Russia and Russian people . US,UK and Europe should deal with their own problems in their own “homes” and not to poke their curious and greedy noses into other’s businesses as I believe it has been for centuries. Well the world is shifting geopolitically now towards the east and those who is going to reject and oppose longest will loose on many goodies. It’s strange how bad and greedy human nature is. Instead focusing on space discoveries… Read more »

Ivan Kalot
Guest
Ivan Kalot

Pffft