The event was jointly conducted by the Embassies of Ukraine and Croatia in Budapest on 15 April 2019 and was the third in a series within the international platform "Friends of de-occupation of Crimea" initiated by the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.

The first conference addressed "De-occupation of Crimea: the West’s non-recognition policy and the Baltic lessons learned", co-organised by the Embassies of Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with the Hungarian Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy on 6 March. This had been followed by "Ukraine and Georgia: way to de-occupation of its territories", organised jointly by the Embassies of Ukraine and Georgia.

In her opening remarks on 15 April, Ambassador Nepop noted that since Russian aggression had spread further in 2014, when the Crimean Peninsula was annexed by the Russian Federation, there had been significant human losses among the Ukrainian people but also a selfless struggle. "At the same time Crimea and part of Donbass remain occupied by the Russian Federation, and in the east of Ukraine the war continues, taking away lives of our defenders," the ambassador said. "The Ukrainian political prisoners and military sailors remain in Russian captivity."

She underlined that this year within the framework of the international platform "Friends of de-occupation of Crimea" it had already been discussed how the historical experience of the de-occupation of the Baltic states could be used, as well as what measures were being taken by Kyiv in Ukraine and Tbilisi in Georgia to set free their occupied territories. "Today we will discuss what the plan after the deoccupation should be and how we can use the Croatian experience." Ambassador Nepop said Ukraine has no doubt it will be victorious over the aggressor and there will be restoration of its territory.

Ambassador of Croatia to Hungary Mladen Andrlic underlined his country’s solidarity with Ukraine in its resistance to Russian aggression. He stressed the importance of the stabilisation of the situation in Ukraine, which should be done through conflict resolution but not through "freezing".

Mariia Zolkina, political analyst of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation in Ukraine, told the conference of the measures taken by Ukraine for preparation of the reintegration of the occupied territories of Donbass, such as the adoption of the law "On the peculiarities of the State Policy on Ensuring Ukraine’s State Sovereignty over Occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Regions".

Zolkina also drew attention to the possibilities for children from temporarily occupied territories to get diplomas in Ukraine, to compensation of social benefits for the citizens from temporarily occupied territories, and to the issue of internally displaced persons, or IDPs.

Lovre Pejkovic, former head of the office for displaced persons and refugees of the Croatian Government, described the implementation of the plan for peaceful reintegration and process of the normalisation of relations between Croats and Serbs after the war in the course of the break-up of Yugoslavia. He stressed that this process, backed by the international institutions and partners, was often challenging and controversial. Nevertheless, Croatia had managed to implement reintegration within a given deadline and without major conflicts, even though this process had its shortcomings.

Wrapping up, Ambassador Nepop noted that the termination of the Russian aggression is possible only with the support of the international community. She urged those present to remain in solidarity with Ukraine. "Today’s event is the last one in this year’s series of conferences within the framework of the international platform ‘Friends of de-occupation of Crimea’, but I am confident that together we will continue our efforts to restore territorial integrity and peace in Ukraine," she said.

Loading Conversation

Odessa, sister city of Szeged

Pearl with a cosmopolitan soul

Odessa is the top tourist destination of the Black Sea and the maritime capital of Ukraine. Thanks…

First a war and now 'invisible enemy' strike Vienna

Third Man museum fights back against virus

Black marketeer Harry Lime faked his death in post-World War Two Vienna in a bid to shake off the…

Travel puts the brakes on but will get back on the rails

Life hits a temporary roadblock

Geschrieben von Alexander Stemp

The desire to travel is eternal but today's travel and tourism industries are, for now, in trouble.