Czech FM: Any speculation Crimea can be exchanged for peace with Russia is unfounded, dangerous

Any speculation that Crimea can be exchanged for peace with Russia is unfounded and dangerous, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said.

“Let’s not forget that Vladimir Putin started a criminal war much earlier than in February 2022. He started in February 2014 with the seizure of Crimea, and we must make it clear that we will never accept the occupation of Crimea and other parts of Ukraine. Any Speculation that Crimea can be exchanged for peace with Russia is unfounded and dangerous,” he said at a meeting of the second parliamentary summit of the International Crimea Platform, which is taking place in Prague on Tuesday.

Lipavský said Putin is not interested in peace, but wants to destroy Ukraine as a democratic and sovereign state. “If he succeeds, he will not stop there. He will attack other countries with an even greater appetite in order to weaken Europe and destroy its security architecture. It is the duty and vital interest of the entire democratic world to prevent him from doing this,” the foreign minister said.

Lipavský said without Russia-controlled Crimea there will be no so-called Russian world, which is just a new label for centuries-old Russian imperialism.

“So I look forward to visiting Crimea just for the beautiful mountains or Bakhchisarai Palace. I want to visit Crimea as part of a democratic Ukraine, where the Crimean Tatars, like everyone else, enjoy full rights and can freely choose their representatives. This will be a sign that the war is over and that Russia does not threaten Ukraine and all of Europe,” the foreign minister said.

In addition, he said Czech diplomacy has long been raising issues of Crimean political prisoners at all relevant international forums. “I hope that they will be released soon,” the minister said.

He also said “the policy of the European Union and all democratic countries should be to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the 1991 borders, including Crimea.”


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