The West has not so many instruments left to at least make Russia to sit at negotiating table – Refat Chubarov


Mejlis Head calls upon the international community to tighten pressure on Russia. He emphasizes significant and systematic violations of human rights and rise of repressions against Crimean Tatars on the peninsula.

Kyiv, April 21, 2016. Over the past two weeks the Crimean Tatar delegation held a series of international meetings in Lithuania, the Council of Europe and at a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Ukraine is preparing an appeal to hold an extraordinary sitting of the UN Security Council. “Everything that we are doing is for the world to react upon the situation in Crimea in a more concrete and clear way,” said Refat Chubarov, Head of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people speaking at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Among the sanctions against Russia named by Chubarov are switching Russia off the SWIFT financial system as well as complete or partial embargo on purchase of energy resources from Russia. “Leaders of the states need to make a clear list of the instruments for themselves that are left to them in order to force Russia to at least sit at the negotiating table. […] Regardless of how complicated it is but in the view of the threat that Europe is currently facing, it’s worth it. European community may live through some restrictions for at least six month – a year in order to stop the World War III,” Chubarov is convinced.

He also commented on the recent report by PACE Ambassador Studman on human rights in Crimea. “The report satisfied no one: neither Russia, nor Ukraine and especially Mejlis. It happens when the authors are trying to get liked by everyone to the maximum, they step aside from reflecting the objective situation,” Chubarov said. The report has provisions that Crimean Tatars share, for example an appeal not to prohibit Mejlis. At the same time the conclusion that repressions against Crimean Tatars are not of systematic nature causes the reaction of just indignation. He called upon the civil society organizations that are dealing with human rights in Crimea to make their reports public. “All international organizations need to stop sending to Crimea random persons. There are respective agencies responsible for that. Commissioners of the European Parliament on human rights and media, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights as well as respective monitoring committees,” noted Head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people.

According to Refat Chubarov Russia has set the task to destroy Mejlis long ago. Since it gets in the list of extremist organizations repressions against its members may start. According to Chubarov 13 Crimean Tatar activists are being held hostages by occupational authorities. A recent series of searches conducted in the houses of Crimean journalists added to the list. They are suspected of “distributing materials of extremist nature as they cast doubt on Crimea’s affiliation with the Russian Federation.”

“All our calls upon international institutions to adopt more strict restrictive measures against Russia as soon as possible in order to make Russia sit at the negotiating table on Crimea have not yet been answered. All politicians now realize the threat that the entire world faces. However pragmatic approach currently dominates,” said Chubarov. Nevertheless he is convinced that over the time the world will get to the level of consciousness that Ukraine now has.