The return of Crimea to Ukraine will be the biggest anti-war step in Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
"The Russian occupation has turned Crimea - which is truly a paradise for all of us - into a dependent and depressed region. Into a region of high fences, barbed wire and lawlessness, into a zone of ecological disaster and a military bridgehead for aggression. From February 24, from occupied Crimea to our cities and communities, 750 different cruise missiles were launched. They destroyed at least hundreds of civilian objects: schools, universities, ordinary residential buildings. Therefore, the restoration of Ukraine's control over the Crimean peninsula will be the biggest anti-war step in Europe," Zelenskiy said, speaking at the opening of the onlone summit of the Crimean platform.
According to him, this will restore security and justice, reintegrate Crimea into the modern world.
"That is: normal supplies of clean water, waste disposal, effective rules of behavior with waste, sewage effluents. Only Ukraine can build a modern irrigation system in Crimea and integrate agricultural production in Crimea and the entire business sector with a colossal market. Only Ukraine will give Crimea a modern and affordable medical and educational systems, digital system of public services," he said.
"Ukraine will remove barbed wire and illegal fences. Free access to beaches, real protection of protected areas, historical sites - this will be provided only by Ukraine, not by someone who came to capture, steal and humiliate people. Ukraine will restore the system of sanatoriums in Crimea , rehabilitation centers, professional institutions that will be able to receive hundreds of thousands of people annually, millions of tourists," Zelenskiy added.
He emphasized that there was never any repression and moral unfreedom in Crimea under the Ukrainian authorities, which Russia has brought since 2014. "And, even more so, Ukraine will never sneer at the social needs of pensioners and other social categories of the population. Ukraine will never tell people: 'There is no money, but you are holding on,' because we respect people," Zelenskiy said.
He also stated that Ukraine is already strong enough to return Crimea.
"And I believe: in order to overcome terror, to return predictability and security to our region in Europe, the whole world needs to achieve victory in the fight against Russian aggression. We need to free Crimea from occupation. Where it began, there it will end," the president summed up.