“Today, Kyiv is doing everything possible that every capital city of a free world, beginning with Washington and Brussels and ending with Canberra and Buenos Aires, knows the true state of things that Crimea is Ukraine and the Russian Federation is a state-occupant.” These words belong to Rustem Umerov, a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and the co-chairman of an inter-faction association called the Crimean Platform that has been formed in the Ukrainian Parliament.

Deputy Umerov stressed the importance of a first international forum called the Crimean Platform that will be held August 23 in Kyiv, a day ahead of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of independence of Ukraine. The platform is created on the initiative of the Ukrainian authorities. Its goal is to coordinate the activities carried out by Ukraine and its international partners to return the issue of the Crimea to the international agenda, to protect human rights in Crimea and to promote the de-occupation of the peninsula.

Forty-two states will attend the summit meeting, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Besides, 180 experts from 33 countries have confirmed their readiness to participate in the work of the Crimean Platform.

Ukrainian diplomats say that the upcoming forum will be an unprecedented international event that will attract a great number of visiting dignitaries: presidents, prime ministers, co-chairmen of parliaments and members of governments.

The Crimean Platform is supposed to work at several levels. The first level, the highest, is political. It will attract heads of foreign state and government. The second level will embrace foreign ministers and defense ministers. The third level will cover representatives of parliaments and, finally, the fourth level will involve non-government experts. The expert network is supposed to be created to increase the efficiency of the states-participants and to draw additional intellectual resources to the work of the platform.

The Crimean Platform summit meeting is going to adopt the Crimean Declaration that will be open for more participants, the states which, for various reasons, won’t be able to attend the August 23 Constituent Forum.

“We are going to launch the Crimean Platform to correct the historic error that was made in the first years of the war Ukraine wages against the Russian aggressor, the years when not a single effective mechanism was created to de-occupy the Crimean peninsula,” stressed Foreign Minister Kuleba.

A few months ago, the Kremlin high-ranking officials declared that they would regard the participation of any country or an organization in the work of the Crimean Platform as an unfriendly step directed against Russia and a direct encroachment on its territorial integrity.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Crimean Platform a Black Sabbath and a mob. In response, Dmytro Kuleba said that he was very pleased with Lavrov’s nervous reaction. Kuleba quoted the words once said by the great Indian political activist, “Mahatma Gandhi once said the following: at first they ignore you, then they begin laughing at you, then they fight you and then you will.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba believes that Russia has passed the first two stages and now is at the third stage.

Kuleba concluded, “There will certainly be the fourth stage. It will be the Ukrainian victory and the de-occupation of Crimea.”

The newspaper Voice of Ukraine