KIEV, April 4 (RAPSI) - Next week, Ukraine will finish calculating the damages from Crimea’s accession to Russia and will file a lawsuit demanding compensation, the country’s Minister of Justice Pavel Petrenko said.
Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking republic within Ukraine, was part of Russia until it was handed over to Ukraine by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.
Crimea moved for independence from Ukraine in the aftermath of escalating clashes in Kiev and the flight of Viktor Yanukovych from the country. Crimea held a referendum on breaking away from Ukraine with 93% of voters backing independence from Ukraine and accession to Russia.
On March 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state. In his official address to federal and regional officials he said that Khrushchev’s decision had been made in clear violation of the constitutional law at the time.
The same day, the leaders of Crimea and the city of Sevastapol and Putin signed a treaty unifying Crimea with Russia.
“Next week we will present the first expert reviews of our losses in Crimea, including Ministry of Energy property, the Black Sea shelf and Chernomorneftegaz, and Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport property (railway, real estate, ships and planes) that remain in Crimea,” Petrenko said.
He added that Ukraine will also request compensation for alienated resort properties and cultural facilities.
The minister announced that the ministry is drafting additions to the Crimea related lawsuit to file with international courts.
Yesterday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya told RIA Novosti that Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia, if filed with the International Court of Justice in the Hague has no chance of winning.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the decision to accept Crimea to the Russian Federation was based on the free will of the people of Crimea as expressed during the referendum, which complies with the international law.