Ukrainian Ambassador to Cyprus Borys Humeniuk has said that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine is the same as the illegal proclamation of the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime in Cyprus Turkish occupied areas, reiterating that the referendum in Crimea was illegal and does not reflect the reality, and that the actions of the Crimean authorities violate the Ukrainian constitution.
In statements at CNA, Humeniuk stressed that "this referendum will never be recognized by the Ukrainian authorities, by the Ukrainian nation and by the international community,” and expressed gratitude to the Cyprus government, political parties and the Cyprus society for their stance on the issue of Crimea, noting that the society of Cyprus “understands us better than anyone in the world” as it has experienced such a tragedy and knows what that means.
Asked about the referendum that took place in Crimea on Sunday, Humeniuk noted that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine is the same thing with what happened in 1983 in Cyprus, with the unilateral illegal proclamation of the Turkish Cypriot pseudostate, in Cyprus` northern part, occupied since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.
"This is not a referendum because this event took place under illegal conditions. It was under the conditions of direct illegal crossings of the border of Ukraine by military forces of our neighbor,” he noted, adding that “the Ukrainian authorities didn’t recognize the authorities of the so called Republic of Crimea because this institutional body, these authorities committed a crime against the Ukrainian constitution.”
Noting that “theoretically it is possible for any region of Ukraine to be separated as in any country,” Humeniuk underlined that this “should be done with a whole national referendum, not a local referendum.”
“If every region starts to make a decision to stay in this state or go out this will constitute violation not only of the law, but violation of the common sense,” the Ambassador said and noted that therefore “under the Constitution of Ukraine and under the condition of the illegal presence of military units of our great neighbor, this referendum will never be recognized by the Ukrainian authorities, by the Ukrainian nation and by the international community.”
He recalled that “officially yesterday, EU Foreign Affairs Ministers unanimously, the 28 members of the European Union, including Cyprus as its FM Ioannis Kasoulides participated in this meeting, voted against” the recognition of the referendum and that “besides the EU, other countries, the most important countries, starting from Canada, Japan, the United States of America,” did not recognize it.
“I don’t know of any other country – maybe Nicaragua, maybe North Korea – that supported this event. So we cannot speak even about a legal referendum,” he said.
Asked about the reaction of Ukraine after the referendum, Humeniuk said “the first reaction is no recognition” of the referendum.
“This is the fundamental stance, and this is the fundamental approach by the international community. Being an Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus I want to reiterate that we are very grateful to Cyprus, to the Cyprus government for their official position in support of the Ukrainian political and territorial integrity,” he noted.
He said that in the past days he met with many politicians in Cyprus, “not only with persons who are in the government, but also with party leaders and all of them condemned this invasion and that is why I want to underline that we are grateful, our government and our nation, to Cypriot officials and to the Cypriot society.”
“When I am talking with representatives of the Cyprus society they understand us better than anyone else in the world, because you experienced this tragedy forty years ago and you know what it means,” the Ambassador added.
As regards the next practical steps to be taken by Ukraine, Hukeniuk said that they will depend “on the next steps of the Russian Federation, of the Russian government.”
He recalled that today, President of Russia Vladimir Putin made an official statement on the results of the referendum that the Russian government approved the results and that authorities of the so-called independent Crimea applied to Russia to be included into the Russian Federation with a special status as a Republic, with some financial privileges.
“Maybe they will ask the Russian government to open a special economic zone in the Crimea in order to attract investments, to start economic prosperity, but all these things are illegal, they will never be implemented because these plans are against the rule, against the international law, against the Ukrainian law and of course we hope and we count on the international support,” the Ambassador noted.
He said that international reaction was yesterday “very rapid and quite concrete. There were declared sanctions and a part of the sanctions were imposed on Russian officials, on some representatives of the government, of the parliament,” he noted.
He stressed that “the situation is not easy,” and that he is now waiting for instructions from his government. So I cannot make detailed comments on the further steps of the Ukrainian government, he said.
He noted that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has objective and truthful information about the referendum and who voted. “In Crimea there are three main communities: a Russian community, a Tatar community and a Ukrainian community. Tatar and the Ukrainian communities boycotted the referendum totally. They did not participate in the referendum. Only the Russian community did, and not all of them,” he said.
He said that the result of the referendum, according to which 97% of the voters were in favour of joining Russia, does not reflect the reality, the objective figures.
The objective figures were prepared by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and this information is accepted by OSCE representatives, by other international and European institutions, he said.
He also noted that the Venice Commission did not recognize the referendum and the preparation for this referendum and that the representatives of the OSCE and European institutions were not allowed to have a status of an observer at the referendum.
“So it has been done under the carpet, in a dark room, and the results of this referendum were predictable in advance,” he said.