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 MEPs urge Moscow to stop issuance of Russian passports for Crimeans

The Kremlin should also release Ukrainians illegally detained in Russia and abolish the ban on the Crimean-Tatar Mejlis.

Censor.NET reports referring to a press release published on the European Parliament website.

"The European Parliament reiterates its condemnation of the illegal annexation three years ago of the Crimean peninsula and the City of Sevastopol by Russia," the document says. Parliamentarians also deplore violations of freedom of speech, abuse of the media, forced imposition of Russian citizenship and the discriminatory policies against, in particular, Crimea's ethnic Tatar minority.

Read more: Crimea is Ukraine and must be returned, - UK Foreign Office

Members of the European Parliament believe that Russia should stop giving "all inhabitants of Crimea Russian passports" and "release without further delay all illegally and arbitrarily detained Ukrainian citizens both in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and to provide for their safe return."

European lawmakers call for an immediate cessation of the practices of persecution, torture and systematic intimidation of local citizens opposed to the annexation of Crimea. MEPs reiterate their call for the immediate reversal of the so-called Supreme Court of Crimea's decision of April 26, 2016 to ban the Mejlis, the legitimate and recognized representative body of ethnic Crimean Tatars, an indigenous people of the peninsula whose "rights have been gravely violated."

Earlier, the British Foreign Office called Crimea part of Ukraine and urged Russia to return it.
 
 
 
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