On 15 April 2019 the conference “Restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine. Croatia’s experience of peaceful reintegration” was jointly conducted by the Embassies of Ukraine and Croatia in Budapest. The event was third in a row of events within the international platform “Friends of de-occupation of Crimea” initiated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, and had been preceded by the conference “De-occupation of Crimea: the West’s non-recognition policy and the Baltic lessons learned” co-organised by the Embassies of Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with Hungarian Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy on 6 March as well as “Ukraine and Georgia: way to de-occupation of its territories” conference organized jointly by the Embassies of Ukraine and Georgia.
In her opening remarks Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Hungary Liubov Nepop noted that significant human losses and selfless struggle of the Ukrainian people had evented Russian aggression to spread further in 2014. “At the same time Crimea and part of Donbass remain occupied by the Russian Federation, and in the East of Ukraine the war continues, taking away lives of our defenders. The Ukrainian political prisoners and military sailors remain in the Russian captivity”, said the Ambassador.
H.E. Liubov Nepop underlined that this year within the framework of the international platform “Friends of de-occupation of Crimea” it was already discussed how the historical experience of the de-occupation of Baltic states can be used as well as what measures were being taken by Kyiv and Tbilisi to set free their occupied territories. “Today we will discuss what the plan after the deoccupation should be and how we can use Croatian experience”, stated the Ambassador. Ukraine has no doubt in the victory over aggressor and restoration of its territorial integrity; and is also working on developing strategic approaches to further reintegration of its territories.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Croatia to Hungary Mladen Andrlic in his opening speech underlined the solidarity of Croatia with Ukraine in its resistance to Russian aggression and stressed the importance of the stabilisation of the situation in Ukraine, which should be done through conflict resolution but not through “freezing”.
Political analyst of the “Democratic Initiatives Foundation” after Ilko Kucheriv, Mariia Zolkina, informed about the actions and measures taken by Ukraine for preparation of the reintegration of the occupied territories of Donbass after its release mentioning the adoption of Law “On the peculiarities of the State Policy on Ensuring Ukraine’s State Sovereignty over Occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, the possibilities for children from temporarily occupied territories to get diplomas in Ukraine as well as compensation of social benefits for the citizens from temporarily occupied territories. Expert also paid attention to the issue of IDPs.
Lovre Pejkovic, Former Head of the Office for displaced persons and refugees of the Croatian Government described the implementation of the plan for peaceful reintegration and process of the normalization of relations between Croats and Serbs after the war in the course of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The expert stressed that this process, backed by the international institutions and partners was often challenging and controversial. Nevertheless, Croatia managed to implement reintegration within a given deadline and without major conflicts, even though this process had its shortcomings.
Wrapping up H.E. Liubov Nepop noted that the termination of the Russian aggression is possible only with the support of the international community and urged those present to remain in solidarity with Ukraine.
“Today’s event is the last one in this year’s series of conferences within the framework of the international platform “Friends of de-occupation of Crimea”, but I am confident that together we will continue our efforts to restore territorial integrity and peace in Ukraine”, - underlined H.E.Liubov Nepop.