Since the beginning of the Russian Federation's armed aggression against Ukraine, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has become an important ground for countering this aggression, both politically and legally.
The Ukrainian side managed to gain 12 decisions of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe condemning the attempt of illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine) by the Russian Federation; Russia was called upon to abide by all its obligations under international humanitarian law, international human rights law, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the principles and standards of the Council of Europe; Russia was required to take all necessary measures to respect human rights in Crimea and to put an immediate end to all violations of these rights, including denial of freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of religion and belief, discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or degrading treatment and repression against persons belonging to minorities, including Crimean Tatars, as well as Ukrainians and persons belonging to other ethnic and religious groups.
The Permanent Representation of Ukraine to the Council of Europe ensures the representation of Ukraine in the work of all rapporteur groups of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and provides assistance to the work of Ukrainian delegations in the activities of more than 40 expert bodies.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted decision "Human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)", 11 May 2021.
In the decision the Committee of Ministers urged the Russian Federation:
- to uphold all of its obligations under international law and restore territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders,
- to release and allow the return, without preconditions, of all Ukrainian citizens, who were unlawfully detained and judged without regard for the requirements of international law, as well as those transferred or deported across internationally recognised borders from Crimea to the Russian Federation;
- to fulfil its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and to restore enjoyment of the rights of all individuals, belonging to all ethnic communities in Crimea, in particular ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, to ensure their right to education, to ensure the availability of education in the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages, without any discrimination based on origin, religion or belief, to revoke the decisions that banned cultural and religious institutions, non-governmental organisations, human rights organisations, media outlets and cultural gatherings;
- to revoke the decision declaring the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People an extremist organisation and banning its activities, repeal the decision banning leaders of the Mejlis from entering Crimea and refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to preserve its representative institutions;
- to co-operate fully with all human rights bodies of the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Crimea, which must have safe, secure and unhindered access to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, in order that they can carry out their monitoring activities in accordance with their mandates;