Mustafa Dzhemilev: The main instrument for peaceful de-occupation of Crimea is international economic pressure on Russian Federation


Kyiv, February 8, 2016. Crimea must be liberated by exclusively by non-military means. The most effective tool for this are economic sanctions and pressure of the international community, said Mustafa Dzhemilev, MP, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Currently, we consider mostly a non-military method of de-occupation of the Crimea. The military way would lead to enormous bloodshed and, above all, to the destruction of the Crimean Tatar people, who unanimously resists this occupation. Our greatest hope is economic sanctions,” said Mr. Dzhemilev.

He said that sanctions against Russia could lead to the same result as the sanctions against the Soviet Union after the invasion of Afghanistan. Then, said Mr. Dzhemilev, the sanctions were less stringent than the current sanctions against Russia, but eventually led to the weakening and collapse of the communist empire. “No one can say how long the agony of the Russian economy will last. But some people believe that it will not take more between 12 to 18 months – and then not only Ukrainian territories will be liberated, but also Georgia, Transnistria and others,” he said. Though, Mr. Dzhemilev warned, we should not unduly rely on sanctions. “We must strengthen our defense, because if defense capabilities [in 2014 – UCMC] had been at the same level as now – I am absolutely convinced that this attack would not have happened.”

Answering journalists’ questions about Jamala’s participation in the qualifying round for Eurovision 2016, Mr. Dzhemilev expressed hope that Jamala will represent Ukraine with her songs on the deportation of Crimean Tatars. “It is very important to us. If she wins […], the prestige of Ukraine, Crimean and occupation theme will rise to a new level,” he said.

During the press briefing, Mustafa Dzhemilev was awarded the Order of Anti-Putin international coalition for fighting against fascism in Russia. “For the courage and resilience displayed in the struggle for the rights of the Crimean Tatar people and for the fight for the liberation of Crimea,” said Herman Obukhov, Coordinator of the Anti-Putin International Coalition “Stop Fascism in Russia” during the awarding ceremony. Besides Mr. Dzhemilev, the order was given to Cyborg Andriy Hrechanov (call sign “Rakhman”) and Nadiya Savchenko.