Wednesday, July 6, 2022

    OCU cleric meets with minister for reintegration

    On September 3, the OCU hierarch, Metropolitan Klyment of Simferopol and Crimea, discussed with Oleksiy Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine who is also Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, a wide range of issues related to the protection of rights of Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, in particular, the right to freedom of religion, education in the Ukrainian language, and access to information.

    The meeting was also attended by a representative of the National Council of Ukrainians of Crimea, Andriy Shchekun, the press service of the OCU reports.

    “At the Crimea Platform summit, I paid special attention to the fact that the occupation authorities are systematically persecuting Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea. A policy of total assimilation is being pursued toward the Ukrainian community. Education in the Ukrainian language has been destroyed, and the use of the language itself in public is virtually prohibited. Ukrainian media, civic and political cells were destroyed. Ukrainian activists are persecuted and thrown behind bars. Under constant pressure is also a community of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is currently almost the only breath of fresh air for those who have been taken hostage by the occupiers. We are responding to this,” Oleksiy Reznikov said.

    Thus, the deputy prime minister recalled that on August 18, 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved two packages of sanctions against Russian judges and other officials directly involved in the persecution of civilians in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and Sevastopol.

    The draft documents were prepared by the Ministry of Reintegration together with the Office of the President of Ukraine for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and civic activists, including the National Council of Ukrainians of Crimea, an institutional association of Crimean organizations representing Ukrainians in Crimea.

    “The same facts are mentioned in the report of the UN Secretary General that has just been published. But we are convinced that the international community can do more, and we plan to intensify work to draw international attention to the situation of Ukrainians in Crimea,” said the deputy prime minister.

    It should be reminded that the OCU’s Klyment (Kushch) volunteered to become a public lawyer for the journalist earlier arrested in the occupied Crimea.