Violation of human rights, deportation and colonization of the Crimean population and territory by Russia has a long history. ‘The Soviet period was a real nightmare for the Crimea Tatars’, and still is today. Four years after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, European political leaders continue to sidestep the issue of Crimea.
The Ukraine is weakened, corruption is flourishing, weapons are massively circulating since the Donbas conflict and migrants are pushing to pass the borders. But the civil society is strong, an opportunity for EU to support civil action.
By 2016 the eastern neighbourhood of the European Union (EU) has turned into a region of intercultural conflicts, interstate wars and authoritarian experiments betraying the bright hopes for continental cooperation, freedom and peace of the early 1990s.
The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the launch of a hybrid war against Ukraine was Russia’s answer to the revolution triggered by Euromaidan. The conflict continues to pose fundamental challenges for the European Union, and raises the question of whether the EU will maintain its commitment to the political and economic consolidation of those of its Eastern neighbours which aim to make sovereign choices based on the rule of law and democracy.
At the beginning of March, international experts discussed at the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Berlin Europe’s response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. They all agreed on Europe lacking a long-term strategy.