Violations of the Crimean Maritime Sanctions and of the Occupied Territory Regime in January 2017


Tetyana HUCHAKOVA
Andrii KLYMENKO
Olga KORBUT

BSNews, the Crimean Department of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs

The Maidan Foreign Affairs and BSNews monitoring Group has summed up the results of the daily monitoring of the violations of the sanctions against the occupied Crimea and the occupied territory regime for January 2017.

For December 2016 results, click here.

Marine Transport

Just line in December 2016, the list of the vessels-offenders in January 2017 includes 73 sea ships, all of which are included in the unified Black List database of the vessels that have called at Crimea during the time of the occupation. Of the 73 violators, 57 were under the RF flag.

1 - under the flag of Bulgaria (a gas tanker);
1 - for the flag of the Comoros;
1 - under the flag of Moldova (under repairs);
1 - under the flag of Palau (a Sevastopol-Zonguldak ferry);
1 - under the flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis (arrested);
1 - under the flag of Syria(in the OFAC Syrian black list);
2 - under the flag of Mongolia (all 2 – in the OFAC Syrian black list, 1 of them – gas tanker);
2 - under the flag of Panama (1 – a Sevastopol-Zonguldak ferry; 1 - grain to Northern Cyprus);
2 - under the flag of Togo;
2 - under the flag of Tanzania (a Turkish Sevastopol-Zonguldak ferry and 1 - grain to Northern Cyprus);
2 - under the flag of Sierra Leone (1 is being converted in Sevastopol into a cruise ship);
57 - under the flag of the Russian Federation (including 6 newcomers to the black list).

Of these, 6 vessels have entered the Crimean ports in January 2016 for the first time since the occupation. All of them are Russian tankers arriving in Sevastopol for repair and/or winter lay up.

Among the vessels-violators are 22 ferries (passenger, road and rail), two of which, including one Turkish, operate from Sebastopol to Zonguldak, the rest - between Taman and various Kerch ports.

Of the 73 vessels-violators, 46 vessels (63%) were active, while the other 27 were under repair or laid up in the Crimean ports.

Note that the calls to the occupied Crimea of the ​​Bulgarian tankers-gas carriers operating under the Bulgarian flag continue. To date, Bulgaria is the only EU and NATO member state that from the very beginning of the Crimea occupation has been demonstratively ignoring the sanctions imposed by the EU on the Crimean ports.

Bulgarian tanker POLARIS in the Kerch sea fishing port on August 6, 2015. The tanker had since called at that port on 26.12.16 - 02.01.17.

Some of the most brazen sanctions offenders are the vessels owned by the Syrian shipowners that are already on the Syrian black list of the US OFAC. They defiantly ignore not only the sanctions, but also the international maritime conventions, habitually turning off the AIS transmitters immediately after passing into the Black Sea via the Bosporus Strait.

However, the dry cargo ship LAODICEA owned by the Syrian state administration of maritime transport that was under loading in Sevastopol in January 2017, has drown our attention by something else.

Syrian ship LAODICEA under loading in Sevastopol on January 11, 2017.

This ship earlier called Beluga Enterprise, used to be part of the fleet of the German company Beluga Shipping, until recently, one of the world’s leaders in the heavy and oversized cargo transportation. Such vessels had been repeatedly used for the transportation of tanks, missile installations and ammunition. After bankruptcy and the capture of its Beluga Nomination ship loaded with luxury yachts by the Somalian pirates, it had sold its fleet.

Moreover, the late January arrival of the dry cargo ship LAODICEA from Sevastopol to, of all the places, the Syrian port of Tartus, the location of the Russian naval base, reinforces the suspicion that the ship can be used to deliver Russian arms to Syria.

You can find the full list of sea vessels that in violation of Ukrainian legislation and international sanctions, have called at the ports of the occupied Crimean peninsula in January 2017, here.

***

Despite the regular statements by Russia’s and occupied Crimea’s authorities that Western sanctions against the Russian Federation do not work, the current situation in the Crimean ports clearly illustrates the effectiveness of sanctions.

Thus, in January, the head of the Crimean department of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Timofei Kuraev, stated at a meeting in Crimea's "Council of Ministers" that without modernization, the Crimean ports would not be able to compete with motor transport after the opening of the Crimean bridge and offered to divide them into independent legal entities.

«They (the ports) need to be modernized and put into order.  If they remain in the condition they are in now, after the launch of the bridge, they, pardon my language, would simply die -- they will not withstand the competition with road transport. And these are the jobs and the production capacity, not to use which would be wrong. What do we offer? -- For starters, the division of our ports into independent legal entities.»

According to Kuraev, at present,  the only profitable port «Crimea» subsidizes all other ports that do not conduct economic activities.

«We have only one profitable port – the «Crimea». There are some hopes that Kerch will also become profitable port at some point in time. The remaining ports are not being used, do not conduct economic activities, but do spend money on the payroll and the security measures. In other words, our profitable port subsidizes the unprofitable ones – that has to be changed somehow. The 2014 decision on the development of the Kerch ferry crossing was justified then, but today is outdated. It needs to be changed.»

Kuraev also clarified that at the moment the management of all ports was concentrated by one legal entity. In his opinion, in order to utilize the production capacity of the ports, the appropriate economic and administrative decisions have to be made.

The Dynamics of Cargo Turnover at the Main Ports of Crimea (million tons) in 2012 – 2015

The possible division of the Crimean seaports between different legal entities is not entirely new. One of the desired effects of such decision is pulling out the entities from under the sanctions. So far, the scheme, however, has been working poorly...

For example, in 2015, the Kerch Commercial Sea Port, the Kerch ferry crossing and the Sevastopol and other sea trading ports were included in the list of the Crimean enterprises that fell under the US economic sanctions. In the attempt to pull them off the sanctions list, the occupiers had united these enterprises (except for the Sevastopol port) into one legal entity, which has only led to the 2016 addition of a new object to the Crimean sanctions list - the State Enterprise «Crimean Sea Ports».

In January, the «Governor» of the occupied Sevastopol, Dmitry Ovsyannikov, reported that the main hope for overcoming the unprofitability of the Sevastopol sea port was connected with its possible use for delivering materials for the construction of the federal highway «Tavrida».

«The preliminary arrangements for the Tavrida highway cargo transshipment via the Sevastopol port have been reached with the contractor, that gives us hope for the significant development of the Sevmorport,» Ovsyannikov said, adding that it would also help the port reach profit in the next year.

According to Ovsyannikov, after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, the volume of cargo transshipment in the port of Sevastopol fell almost 100 times, clearly a result of the foreign ships bypassing Crimea due to sanctions.

And the director of the «Transport and Transport Infrastructure Development Department» of the occupied Sevastopol, Igor Titov, said that the Sevastopol Sea Port had ceased to be a transit port all together.

According to him, the city should have a consumption market and production of goods that would be exported from the port. But today there is neither. The Sevastopol sea port has a narrow range of possibilities, however, «one should not accuse it of not working at full capacity.»

«Its function has changed due to the new realities that need to be taken into account,» explained Titov.

Civil Aviation

In January 2017, the total 11 Russian airlines flew to the airport of the occupied Crimea. It is the same number of carriers as a year ago, while in early 2015, 14 Russian airlines flew to the Simferopol airport.

Some of the airlines that used to fly to the occupied Crimea before 2016, have since stopped operations due to financial problems and since January 2017, were replaced in Simferopol by other Russian carriers.

The number of flights to and from the Simferopol airport changed from 1500 flights in December 2015 to 1930 in 2016 and 1496 flights in 2017, respectively.

The Number of Flights to the Occupied Crimea
(January 2015-January 2017)

Among the airlines that continue to carry out illegal flights to the occupied Crimea as of January 2017 are Aeroflot, Rossiya, Ural Airlines, Globus, VIM-Avia, UVT, Red Wings, Yamal, Ikar(Pegas), Orenburzhye, Nordwind Airlines.

The monitoring group has collected the numbers of these boards for December 2016; they can be seen in the table.

Natural Resources

In January, seized by Russia Chernomorneftegaz reported that the amount of natural gas extracted from Ukraine's natural reservoirs came up to 1 billion 644 million cubic meters, while the annual gas production  had a surplus of 27 million m3 compared to the projections.

In addition, in 2016, Chernomorneftegaz has produced more than 53 thousand tons of gas condensate and oil.

According to the press service, in the past year, the company transferred to the state budget about 1.6 billion rubles in taxes and other mandatory contributions.

At the beginning of last year, Chernomorneftegaz reported production in the amount of 1.84 billion cubic meters in 2015, as well as 61.1 thousand tons of gas condensate and oil.

Drilling rig «Ukraine», «Crimea-1» renamed by the occupiers. Photo by th State Border Service of Ukraine

* * *

In January, it was reported that the number of licenses for exploration, evaluation and mining of mineral resources issued by the «Ministry of Ecology» of Crimea reached 632.

Back in December 2016, the occupation «Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources» of Crimea announced that over the course of the year it had issued 479 licenses for exploration, mining and production of subsoil areas of local importance in the peninsula.

The licenses relate to the extraction of water, sand and limestone. New licenses were issued for the development of quarries extracting igneous rocks (diorites) for the production of crushed stone. Usually, the extraction is done with the explosive method, so the location of the quarries near residential buildings cause justified fears of the local population.

The occupants also permit the extraction of crushed stone near the Crimean resorts.

For instance, not only the locals, but tourists also notice the dying trees, the loose soil and the  cracks in the house walls in the area around the Sharkhino pit (Maly Mayak, Alushta). But the quarry belongs to the «Console» group of companies that in turn, belongs to the family of the so-called Speaker of the «Parliament» of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, so the complaints do not go beyond the social networks.

At the same time, the «government» of the Crimea has already had to intervene in the scandals that arose in the Bakhchsarai district.

Trudolyubovskii quarry in the Bakhchisarai region. Photo by webmineral.ru, May 2014

Now the same companies whose boorish behavior has already triggered outbursts of protest moods, received new licenses from the «Minecology». The same Agropromenergo will explore and assess gravel and pebble rocks on the Razdolye site in the Simferopol district (near Nikolaevka) and igneous rocks on the Novotrudolyubovsky section.

Not far from it, the Goszufsky State Farm, LLC (same owners and legal address) has received the Nikolayevsky section of gravel and pebble rocks located 1 km southeast of Nikolaevka and in 1,7-2,2 km from the sea.

Krygeologiya has gotten the right to geological study of gravel and pebble mixtures in the Simferopol district - they will analyze the vicinities of the Vinnitsa, Kurtcy and Partizany villages.

At the Chokotashsky site near Sudak (more precisely, in the mountains above the resort town) the «Crimean nerudnaya company» (authorized capital of 10 thousand rubles, the founders live in Ivanovo and Moscow region) is permitted to explore and extract magmatic rock.

Two Krasnodar companies compete for the Krymavtodor bid to develop the Karadzha quarry: on January 17 Kubanvzryvprom and Universalstroy applied for the right to sign a contract for drilling and blasting operations in the Karadzha quarry near Sudak with an initial price of more than 92 million rubles.

In accordance with the documentation posted on the official state procurement portal of the Russian Federation, «Krymavtodor» procures «work on the rotational drilling of wells at the «Karadzha» mine with drilling depths of up to 11.5 m in the volume of 31 thousand running meters and blasting operations of rock mass (dense) of almost 302 thousand cubic meters.»

The  Karadzha tract near Sudak.

On January 20, at a press conference of the «Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources» of the occupied Crimea, Gennady Naraev said that in 2016 over a dozen new mineral deposits sites had been discovered in the peninsula:

«Over the past year, 14 new mineral deposit sites have been discovered. Eight of them are the limestone deposits (22 587 thousand cubic meters). About 38 million cubic meters of resources have been put on the books as assets.»

Additionally, according to the press service of the «Ministry», three sites of the sand and gravel rock deposits (10,603,000 cubic meters), two sand ones (1,587 cubic meters) in the Belogorsky district and a Andesite porphyrites site (3 507 thousand cubic meters) in Feodosia have been discovered in the past year.

A few days later, the State Duma of Russia in the first reading passed a bill allowing the participants of the so-called Crimean and Sevastopol free economic zone to extract underground waters, medical mud and other natural medical resources.

On January 26, Crimean media reported that the company Krymgeologia signed an agreement on joint activities with the general contractor for the construction of the federal highway Tavrida - CJSC VAD that provides for the «identification and commissioning of new deposits and inert materials for the highway construction.»

According to the head of the ministry of natural resources of the Crimea, Gennady Naraev,

«The commissioning of new fields will reduce transportation costs and reduce the burden of transporting materials on existing roads.»

In general, the occupants are concerned with the shortage of construction materials, previously supplied to Crimea from the territory of the mainland of Ukraine.

In January, the Director General of the ANO «Directorate for the Management of the Federal Targeted Program» Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to 2020,» Andrei Nikitchenko, said that in 2017, with the beginning of the active construction carried out under the Russian FTP, a noticeable increase in the building materials prices in the occupied Crimea is very likely. Listing the risks that Crimea has faced last year and may encounter in 2017, Nikitchenko named access of the contractors to construction materials among the main ones:

«Until 2020, one such risk will be contractors' access to construction materials. We believe that the construction materials market on the Crimean peninsula is imperfect and there is a risk of price increase for various construction materials, which will affect the value of the facilities.»

The invaders believe that the solution to the problem lies above all, in «maximizing the use of the peninsula's capabilities»:

«We believe that the opportunities of the peninsula, as well as external sources - both from the Russian Federation and from other countries - should be used as much as possible.»

The official position of the occupation authorities regarding the complaints of Crimeans who do not want to endure dumps and quarries under their windows is most clearly reflected in the speech by the head of Crimea's «Public Chamber», Grigory Ioffe, at a meeting of the «Sovmin» of Crimea on January 25:

«In my opinion, unfortunately, we are facing such new social phenomenon as the «ecological egotism». The public chamber is littered with the applications of citizens who protest against the organization of quarries and dumps near their places of residence. If this goes on, we would have to take out the garbage somewhere outside Crimea, and get everything, even the most basic building materials from abroad! It is necessary to think of the ecology quite differently, we need a public consensus on it. We need to coordinate the materials related to the location of all these objects, with the public, and not just read these screams - I do not want to use another word!»

* * *

Black Sea Seiner SCS-1004 is one of the Crimean fishing vessels that has changed the flag. Registered at the Kerch port. Photo taken in April 2014.

The aspiration to «master» the natural resources of the occupied peninsula as quickly as possible is clearly visible in all fields.

For example, at the end of January, the press service of the Crimean department of the Azov-Black Sea territorial department of Rosrybolovstvo proudly announced that Crimean fishermen broke the record of the Ukrainian period in the bioresource catch:

«A total of 59.8 thousand record tons were produced by the Crimean fishermen - 47.4 thousand tons from the Black Sea and 12.4 thousand tons from the Azov Sea. These figures are 13% higher than last year, when the catch was 52.7 thousand tons. In addition, the record catches of the Crimean fishermen has exceeded the 2013 output considered the most productive year during the Ukrainian era in the Crimean Peninsula, by 4.6 thousand tons.»

At the same time, the Crimean fishermen retained their lead in the production volumes in the Azov-Black Sea fisheries basin, where the total catch over the past year has reached a record 103 thousand tons.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian environmentalists propose to negotiate with Russia a five-year ban on fishing in the Sea of ​​Azov.

«According to the State Environmental Inspectorate of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Ukraine, over the last decade, the catch of the redlip mullet has   by more than 20 times, pike-perch - by 5 times, and the flounder-kalkan - by seven. Ecologist Gennady Molodan, director of the national natural landscape park Meotida, is convinced that until now the has never been such a critical situation» reports the press service of the Association of Fishermen of Ukraine.

According to Molodan, the capacity of the Azov ecosystem for self-restoration has not been lost yet:

«The former potential can be returned to the Azov Sea on one condition - if the industrial catch is banned for five years. And tough measures need to be introduced by both the Ukrainian and the Russian side.»

Property

The process of «privatization» of the seized property continues.

On January 31, the «Ministry of Property» set forth the directives on the mechanism and time frame of preparations for the «privatization» of the Evpatoria Aircraft Repair Plant, the Research Institute of Aeroelastic Systems (Feodosia), the Theodosia Optical Plant, and the «28 Directorate of the Chief of Work» (Evpatoria).

According to the plan regarding the four entities, their inventory, property survey and the issuance of the relevant documents should be completed by mid- 2017, while by July-August, «the decisions on the conditions for the privatization of the property» will be made.

Feodosia Optical Plant. Repainting the main factory building in the colors of the Russian flag. 2014.

As for the «privatization» auctions for the sale of small real estate, they were traditionally unsuccessful.

None of the three auctions (scheduled for January 23 and January 30) that were supposed to sell a total of 6 lots, have not taken place due to the absence of customer requests.

* * *

The Russian Orthodox Church has also joined in the process of «restoring historical justice» by dividing the seized Ukrainian property.

The Simferopol and Crimean diocese is preparing the second request to the RF Property Management Agency (Rosimushestvo) for the transfer to the gratuitous use of 24 objects of the museum-reserve «Chersonese Tavrichesky» that according to the diocese, used to belong to the Vladimir Monastery.

In the official statement of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese, it is affirmed that «the transfer of the objects of the museum-reserve» Chersonesus Tavricheskiy «to the Russian Orthodox Church on the appropriate decision would be an act of restoring historical justice»:

«The reacquisition of the temples and shrines once lost by the church, including the Chersonesus Monastery, would not only be an act of restoring historical justice, but also, a return to the original wish of the monastery’s creators. It and can also serve as a good start for the development of a certain experience in cooperation of the museum staff with the church for the assertion of spirituality in our society and further study of the Orthodox history pages in the land of Chersonesus.»

According to the authors of the statement, the issue of returning the former buildings of the Vladimir Chersonesus Monastery to the diocese has been discusses over several years already.

«The revival of the Chersonesus monastery is of a great importance for the Orthodox Church, since it is in this sacred place where St. Vladimir has been baptized,» consider the representatives of the diocese.

At present, the diocese puts together the corresponding document package, as set by the Government of the Russian Federation on April 26, 2011.

The Simferopol and Crimean diocese assures it treats the fact that the historical and archaeological museum-reserve «Chersonese Taurian» is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list «with understanding».

«For its part, the diocese is ready to seek compromise solutions, for example, on a number of objects that the current management will determine, such as to contractual joint use or other options.»

On January 31, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine responded to the encroachments of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Ukrainian World Heritage Site by sending a note of protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

With reference to the UN General Assembly resolutions 68/262 of 27 March 2014 and 71/205 of 19 December 2016 that affirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, as well as the decisions of the 194th, 195th, 196th , 197th, 199th and 200th sessions of the Executive Council of UNESCO «Monitoring the Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)» adopted during 2014-2016, the note once again expresses the demand for the Russian Federation as a state, performing temporary illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory, to ensure fulfilling  their obligations under the international law.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine notes in particular that as part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Ukrainian site «Ancient City of Tauric Chersonesos and its Chora» requires a special protection regime provided for by the 1972 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage that the Russian Federation is a party to.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes that any interference with the integrity of the cultural heritage sites located in the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be regarded by Ukraine as a breach by Russia of its obligations as an occupying state with international legal responsibility for such actions.

* * *

In the meantime, while the ROC is trying to «restore historical justice with respect to Orthodox shrines,» the destruction of the ancient Muslim cemetery Gurzuf on the territory of Artek has started.

Work on clearing the territory of the cemetery for new construction began on January 26.

«A Muslim saint is buried here.  There only three Aziz in Crimea. Residents of Gurzuf are calling and writing complaints to the police. The cemetery has not been touched either by the USSR or by the independent Ukraine. Earlier, slabs with Arabic script were visible here before the cemetery was overgrown. A lot of tulip pistachio, listed in the Red Book, has grown here. Builders say that there will be a huge dormitory for the new summer camp «Sunny».  But there are persistent rumors that the place is being cleared for the guests and sponsors of «Artek»! - note local activists.

* * *

When large property issues are being resolved, the rights of the Crimean residents to using the property are easily ignored.

On the night of January 12, in the occupied Sevastopol, the military sealed the dormitory premises of the former Ukrainian banking academy with people inside.

According to the former teachers of the academy, late previous night they were forcibly given a notice on behalf of the management of the Nakhimov school demanding to provide a justification for their residence in the hostel. The notification also offered to provide the military with photocopies of the residents' passports, employment books, information on marital status and other personal data.

A reminder: on November 10, the property of the Moscow Banking College of the Bank of Russia (before the expropriation - the Sevastopol Institute of Banking of the Ukrainian Academy of Banking) was transferred to federal property with the subsequent transfer to the Nakhimov Black Sea Higher Naval School (FWMMU).

After the capture and liquidation of the Ukrainian University in 2014, several families of former employees remained in its dormitory rooms. The tenants won their right to stay in courts against the government of Sevastopol and the Moscow Banking school of the Central Bank of Russia.

The Sevastopol Institute of Banking of the Ukrainian Academy of Banking

In the occupied Kerch it was decided to organize a municipal hotel, but in order to do that, it was necessary to evict several families.

The hotel was supposed to accommodate the builders of the Kerch bridge, road service workers and other laborers from the city’s construction facilities. The occupants chose the dormitory of the Zaliv shipyard to be remade into the hotel, but several families live in the dorm now. Officials prefer not to clarify where these people will go.

According to the so-called. Deputy head of the city «administration», Roman Kirichenko, these people will be resettled: «The city has a maneuverable fund - multiple addresses. I will not name them. I can say that the conditions there will not be worse.»

 

Tourism and foreign delegations visits

The main informational occasion in January regarding foreign visits to the occupied Crimea was tourism, specifically the tourist flow for the New Year holidays and the results of 2016.

The occupation authorities reported a sharp increase in the number of tourists for the New Year holidays - they counted twice as much as last year.

«This year 87,1 thousand tourists have visited Crimea for New Year's and Christmas holidays, while last year that figure was about 43 thousand people. The figures show that Crimea continues to be in demand, which means that the Ministry and the representatives of the tourist business have managed to work together smoothly, «said the head of the «Ministry of Resorts and Tourism» of the occupied Crimea, Sergei Strelbitsky.

However, these victorious figures do not match the statistics of air flights - according to the BSNews and the Maidan of Foreign Affairs monitoring group, the number of flights to Simferopol airport and in December 2016, and in January 2017 was lower than in the same period of the previous year.

The occupational media referring to the Crimean «Resort Ministry» report that Yalta ranked among thr Russian cities popular with foreign tourists for the 2017 New Year holidays. And four Crimean cities - Yalta, Alushta, Feodosia and Sevastopol – have supposedly entered the top Russian 10 resorts most popular with foreign tourists in 2017.

The rating was generated by the Russian hotel search service RoomGuru.ru.

In general, for 2016, the RF counted tourists from 64 countries in Crimea.

According to the head of the committee for the sanatorium and resort complex and tourism of the so-called «Parliament» of the occupied Crimea, Alexei Chernyak, what restrains foreign tourists from visiting Crimean resorts is «the lack of the direct regular and charter flights.»

«They have to get by on their own. Last year, representatives of more than 64 countries visited the Crimea. All these are individual tourists, but they are coming to Crimea,» said Chernyak.

It should be noted that none of the publications of the Crimean and Russian media that talked about the flows of foreign tourists to the Crimea, did not provide any quantitative parameters of these flows.

The OnlineTours.ru service reports that sales of the major Russian providers of tour packages to the occupied Crimea fell by three times in 2016.

According to the company, in 2016 the share of sales to Crimean resorts among other domestic destinations fell to 6.9% compared to 17% in 2015.

«Experts believe that the stagnation of the Crimean direction is to a great degree caused by the peculiar pricing policy of many resort hoteliers,» writes Retail & Royalty News.

* * *

On January 25, Crimean media reported the arrival of the Greek theater director Angelos Sideratos to Simferopol.

The director began to stage the Euripides play «Trojanki» in the State Academic Music Theater «Republic of Crimea».

In a comment to RIA Novosti (Crimea), Angelos Sideratos stressed that, despite the 2,5-thousand-year history, the play "Trojanki" is still extremely relevant today.

«With the help of this play, we, among other things, seek to condemn Europe's sanctions against Russia and the Crimea and the artificially implemented financial bankruptcy of Greece by the European Union and international neocolonial imperialists, as well as the barbaric military occupation of Cyprus by Turkey. This is why I have come to Crimea », - explained the Greek director.

The premiere is scheduled for March 15 of this year.

* * *

In January, we learned the details of ​​the European Parliament deputy Marcus Pretzel illegal visit to Crimea whose purpose was to take part in the April 2016 "international" economic forum there.

As German magazine Der Spiegel reports, the European Parliament deputy from the right-populist party «Alternative for Germany» Marcus Pretzel traveled to the Crimea occupied by Russia at the expense of a Russian fund.

At the three-day Yalta International Economic Forum in April of last year that was attended by a number of Russians who are on the EU black list, the German politician «pleased» the organizers with the demands to lift the European sanctions against Russia. During the visit, the deputy lived in a five-star resort hotel «Mriya». According to Spiegel, the forum participation cost 1500-1800 euros in addition to the cost of flying to and from Crimea on the Russian Aeroflot airline.

The German magazine notes that Pretzel provided the documents only under the pressure of the European Parliament Commission six months after the trip, although the rules oblige the MEPs to report their paid trips no later than the end of the next month. But Pretzel reported for the April trip only at the end of November.

In April 2016, Ukraine sent a protest note to the German Foreign Ministry in connection with the illegal visit of German politicians Marcus Pretzel and Marcus Fromer to the Crimea.

The Ambassador of Ukraine in Germany, Andrei Melnik, twitted:

«We sent a note of protest to the Foreign Ministry of Germany regarding the illegal visit of German politicians to the Crimea».

* * *

The investigation was carried out within the framework of the project "International Sanctions Against the Annexation of the Crimea: Efficiency and Impact, Compliance and Circumvention Techniques" with the support from the US Embassy in Ukraine Media Development Fund. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the official position of the US government.

* * *

The monitoring of the violations of international sanctions against Russia and the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea is supported by the European program initiative of the "Renaissance" International Fund. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the position of the position of the "Renaissance" International Fund.

 



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