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Menendez Statement on the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol

NEWARK – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement on the Day of Resistance to the Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol, marking seven years since Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea:

“On this solemn anniversary, I stand with the Ukrainian people in rejecting the Russian government’s ongoing illegal occupation of Crimea. Nothing that the Kremlin says or does will change the fact that Crimea is Ukraine, and Congress has repeatedly made clear that the United States must forcefully push back against Russia’s attempted annexation of Ukraine’s sovereign territory.

“Russian forces have subjected the Crimean people, particularly the Crimean Tatar community, to appalling human rights abuses including torture and arbitrary arrests. I applaud last month’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights to hear the case brought by Ukraine regarding enforced disappearances, unlawful detention, and suppression of non-Russian media by Russian forces in Crimea. The United States must work with our European allies to oppose the Russian government’s egregious violations of human rights and Ukrainian sovereignty. I hope this anniversary will serve as motivation for us to redouble our efforts on this front.”