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Ukraine using "snowball" strategy to bring back Crimea - envoy

"The goal is to step up pressure on the Russian Federation to the point where qualitative changes begin."

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry uses a "snowball" strategy for the return of Crimea, Ambassador at Large Nadiya Tsok told a roundtable hosted by Gorshenin Institute on 11 May.

"The Foreign Ministry has an action plan [to bring back Crimea], and you see its results. We act within the framework of international organizations where we can, even where effectiveness is not very high in terms of concrete decisions, like the UN Security Council. Of course, any decision of the Council will be blocked by the Russian Federation, which is the aggressor state, but even there we are conducting an information campaign to prove to the world community that the problem does exist, the facts of aggression and torture are obvious," she said.

Tsok says the goal of the ministry is to achieve increasingly stronger international political decisions.

"It's like a snowball, it's growing and growing. We are constantly working to strengthen sanctions, extend them, to strengthen economic, financial, political, emotional, any kind of pressure on the Russian Federation. This is our main strategy," she said.

"Our goal is to increase pressure on the Russian Federation to the point when qualitative change begins. This is our only chance - step by step to achieve positive solutions and the results," the ambassador said.

On 19 April, the UN International Court of Justice called upon the Russian Federation to lift the ban on the Crimean Tatar self-styled government Majlis (Mejlis) and ensure the rights of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians on the occupied peninsula.

On 3 May, the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers declared the annexation of Crimea illegal and urged the Russian Federation to ensure the protection of human rights and cease repressions, in particular against the Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars on the peninsula.

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