Kyiv, November 14, 2014. Former activists of Euromaidan Crimea met at Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kyiv to discuss Ukrainian policy toward the Russian-annexed region of Ukraine. The activists are worried that the Ukrainian parliament has forgotten about their responsibilities toward Crimea and those who live there. The Ukrainian government failed to outline a strategy to return the region to the Ukrainian control, and they are disturbed that the preliminary text of the coalition power-sharing agreement in parliament does not contain a section on Crimea, stated former Euromaidan-Crimea coordinators Andriy Shchekun, Sergiy Kovalskyi, and Sergiy Mokrenyuk.
The activists expressed their desire that Crimeans both on the peninsula and in mainland Ukraine are able to express their opinions through the Ukrainian political process. The three activists hailed the recent parliamentary elections on October 26 as a historic moment in the history of democratic Ukraine. “We welcome the free democratic elections and welcome those elected as MPs,” stated Kovalskyi . “However, we are concerned with the text of the coalition agreement that it doesn’t address the temporarily occupied peninsula of Crimea.” The activists think that a strategy for regaining the peninsula needs to be a galvanizing issue for any Ukrainian government. “We believe that the renewal of the territorial integrity of Ukraine should not only be the main task of the President but also the parliament of Ukraine,” Kovalskyi continued.
According to the speakers, Ukraine needs to ensure the rights of internally displaced people (IDPs) from Crimea, provide provisions for Ukraine’s economic relationship with the region, and create a Ministry to handle Ukraine’s strategy on the occupied region. Kovalskyi called for a government ministry that could specifically handle Crimean affairs. “We don’t have a specific body that would work on systemic, economic, financial and banking issues in Crimea,” he said. Some Ukrainian policies on the peninsula aid the Russian occupiers.
Mokrenyuk believes that the government’s lack of action on the Crimean issue has been shameful. While Russia quickly integrated Crimea into Russia’s economic and political mechanisms, Ukraine has not responded. “For nine months, the state has done nothing,” Mokrenyuk. “Ukraine today is not undergoing comprehensive work on the return of Crimea,” stated Shchekun. The activists believe that this situation needs to change and are appealing to parliament to include issues related to Crimea in the final coalition agreement.