President Zelensky to Prague summit: There can be no peace for Ukraine without the liberation of Crimea

President Zelensky participated in the meeting via videoconference

Representatives from forty countries gathered in Prague on Tuesday for the second International Parliamentary Summit of the Crimean Platform whose main aim is to support Ukraine's efforts to restore its sovereignty over the Russian-occupied peninsula. Speakers to the gathering stressed the importance of liberating Crimea, not just for Ukraine, but for the rules-based world order.

The Crimean Platform, established in 2021, aims to consolidate international efforts for the liberation of the Russian-occupied peninsula and raise awareness of the human rights violations committed on the local population and the impacts of the annexation on security in the Black Sea region, global food security and on the rules-based world order.

The Crimean Platform parliamentary summit | Photo: Kateřina Šulová,  ČTK

Addressing the gathering via a video-link Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that without the liberation of Crimea, there would be no peace for his country.

“The more nations that come with us, the faster we can end Russia's aggression and secure a lasting and just peace."

Zelensky stressed the strategic importance of Crimea for Russia, which illegally annexed the peninsula in 2014. Prior to the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, Russia's control over Crimea was secured by the Black Sea Fleet. However, Zelensky said, the latter suffered losses during the war, which now opens the way for the possible liberation of the peninsula.

Petr Fiala | Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková,

Speaking on the opening day of the summit, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala expressed full support for President Zelensky’s stand.

"Ukraine will not be free until it is back within its internationally recognized borders from 1991. And this includes Crimea."

Mr. Fiala said that the liberation of Crimea was not just important for the people of Ukraine, but for the entire democratic world and for preserving the rules-based world order.

"We cannot allow any country to take foreign territory by force. We must make sure that no one imposes an external solution on Ukrainian citizens or Crimean Tatars," the prime minister stressed.

Jan Lipavský,  Miloš Vystrčil and Petr Fiala | Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková,

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský echoed these sentiments, stressing that any speculation that Crimea could be traded with Russia for peace was unfounded and dangerous.

Lipavsky said he considers Crimea the key to ending Russia's imperialist ambitions in Europe. "Once Moscow is forced to end its occupation of Crimea, it will not be able to block the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea," Lipavský said. Crimea as part of a democratic Ukraine, where Crimean Tatars will have full rights and will be able to freely elect their representatives, will be a sign that the war is over and Russia is not a threat to Ukraine and all of Europe, he said.

Markéta Pekarová Adamová at the Crimean Platform parliamentary summit | Photo: Kateřina Šulová,  ČTK

Several speakers also emphasized the need to fight against Russian propaganda which seeks to undermine the democratic order in Europe and has already proved successful in weakening support for Ukraine in a number of European states.

The Speaker of the Czech Chamber of Deputies Marketa Pekarová Adamová said that the Crimean Platform summit was also important because it sent a clear message to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that the participating countries will continue backing Ukraine until the complete liberation of its territories.

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