Russia rejects UN accusations over Crimean Tatars
MOSCOW - AFP
The Kremlin on Dec. 20 dismissed U.N. accusations of human rights “violations” and “discrimination,” in particular against the Crimean Tatar population on the peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
The U.N. General Assembly on Dec. 19 adopted a resolution condemning “violations, abuses, measures and practices of discrimination against the residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea, including Crimean Tatars... by the Russian occupation authorities.”
The resolution was adopted with 70 voting in favor, 26 against and 76 abstentions. The Assembly condemned the “imposition and retroactive application of the legal system of the Russian Federation, and its negative impact on the human rights situation in Crimea.”
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists: “We consider such formulations incorrect and we do not agree with them.”
Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March 2014 following a hastily organized referendum watched over by Russian troops and not recognized by the international community.
Crimean Tatars are a Muslim ethnic minority which mostly opposed the annexation and have been under severe pressure from the Russian authorities on the peninsula, with many community leaders imprisoned or exiled.
The annexation led to European and U.S. sanctions against Moscow and against Crimea itself, where international companies, including major Russian banks, are not operating to this day.