British Ambassador: Full-Scale War Undermined "Special" Status of Occupied Crimea

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

British Ambassador Melinda Simmons believes that the full-scale war has clearly weakened the perception of occupied Crimea as "special" for the Kremlin in the eyes of the international community.

"Of course, Russia, and especially Putin, see Crimea as critically important to their territory. But it's quite evident that it's part of Ukraine. When the international community talks about Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea – it has all blended now in the context of reclaiming their sovereign territories. So, what sense is there in the so-called special status for Crimea?" the Ambassador stated in an interview with the Ukrainian BBC.

She added that the UK has always insisted that Crimea remains a territory of Ukraine.

"That's why I mentioned it in my farewell speech – perhaps we'll see each other in Crimea. In my opinion, it's just as likely as meeting in Zaporizhzhia or Kherson Oblast," Melinda Simmons noted.

She did not give a direct answer to the question of whether London was preparing for a scenario in which Ukraine cannot regain its 1991 borders.

"The UK is helping Ukraine regain its territorial integrity. That's exactly what we're doing," the Ambassador replied.

As known, Melinda Simmons is ending her four-year diplomatic mission in Ukraine. From September onwards, Martin Harris will replace her as the British Ambassador to Ukraine.

Melinda Simmons recorded a farewell address in the Ukrainian language before departing for the UK.

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