HRC48 – Item 10: ID on High Commissioner’s oral update on Ukraine -5 October 2021 – Statement by ESTONIA to be delivered by H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi

Madame President,

Estonia thanks the High Commissioner for her oral update.

Ukraine needs to carry out the necessary and important reforms in a situation where part of its territory with millions of people continues to be temporarily occupied. The threat of military escalation also remains persistent.

In the temporarily occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the substantial preparations for the annexation by the Russian Federation can be seen. The distribution of Russian citizenship and passports to the people of Donbass, as well as the mass transportation of these people to polling stations during the recent elections in Russia, is in stark contrast to human rights principles and international agreements. This deserves international condemnation.

The temporary occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea was followed by intensive militarization of the peninsula. Behaving as a typical aggressor state, Russia significantly increased the amount of modern military equipment as well as manpower on the peninsula. Building a powerful military platform in Crimea poses a potential threat to Ukraine and to the security of the entire Black Sea region. The expansion of the military infrastructure has led to a number of human rights violations against the Crimean inhabitants.

The brutal violation of human rights in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine requires continued and focused attention from the international community and organisations.

I thank you.