MOSCOW, 4 Mar – RIA Novosti. Moscow regards the statement made by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the occasion of the seven-year anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia as evidence of Germany's unwillingness to act as an honest broker as chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Germany chairs the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from November 2020 to May 2021. Last November, Maas presented his country's presidency program. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, commenting on this presentation, pointed out that it was done rudely, undiplomatically, in places Russophobic. In late February, Maas issued a statement on the anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia, expressing concern about the human rights situation in Crimea. He did not provide any details or evidence of violations.
“Since a large share of the responsibility for these events lies with Berlin, we believe it is important to remind and invite the distinguished Minister Maas to address his concerns to himself. We regard his statement as evidence of Germany's unwillingness to act as an honest broker as chairman of the said structure. Such a line leads to a split. in the organization, will negatively affect the general atmosphere in the Council of Europe, complicate the preparation of the ministerial session of the committee of ministers in Berlin in May this year, “Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
Moscow urges Maas to respect the choice of Crimean residents and “stop telling fables about the peninsula while punishing Crimeans with sanctions,” she said.
Zakharova pointed out that the peninsula became part of Russia on the basis of the principle of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe on the right of peoples to self-determination.
“This decision is final, not subject to revision. It is surprising that Mr. Maas, as the ex-Minister of Justice, quite freely interprets the interim decisions of the UN Human Rights Council of January 14, 2021 on a dispute initiated by Ukraine. As you know, in this decision the court only stated that he had the authority to consider the case on the merits and concluded that a number of accusations that were brought forward by Ukraine against Russia had not been proven, “Zakharova emphasized.