On October 11, a public discussion of the draft of Fifth Periodic Report of Ukraine on Compliance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, organized by the State Service for Ethno-Politics and Freedom of Conscience of Ukraine, took place. This document was prepared by the authorities of Ukraine in accordance with article 25 of this Council of Europe’s Convention, according to which states must submit to the Council of Europe information on current state policy on ethnic groups.

ARC’s expert, Professor Boris Babin generally positively assessed this project during this discussion and at the same time he noted the importance of reflecting the situation in Crimea in the report. Although the general responsibility for the observance of the ethnic groups’ rights is assigned to the aggressor-State on the peninsula, Ukraine is nevertheless obliged to take all available measures to protect the ethnic rights of Crimean residents. These are the corresponding Ukraine’s interstate claims to the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice, and Ukraine’s monitoring of the current situation on the peninsula.

Dr. Boris Babin drew particular attention of the authors of the report to the fact that the Russian de-facto “authorities” are using the “national-cultural autonomies” of certain ethnic groups under their control in the Crimea not only to imitate a “civil society” and to plunder “budget funds”, but also trying to influence on ethnically close states (Greece, Germany, Korea, Estonia) in the “Crimean issue”. Thus, the ethnic communities of the Crimea become hostages of the Kremlin’s political games and, at the same time, they are collective victims of increased Russification and assimilation, the ARC’s expert noted.