Western firms are slowly entering Crimea, and sanctions are no obstacle. The situation of Austrian architects Coop Himmelblau, which took part in the construction of the Sevastopol Opera, only showed that the West has adopted for a long time the tacit consent that Crimea belongs to Russia after the peninsula was reunited with the country in 2014 amidst a coup in Kyiv and following a referendum. Western countries, along with Ukraine, don’t recognise Crimea as Russian, but this can’t be said of the business community.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is trying not only to make Russia a participant in the conflict but also to impose on Russia the duties of an “occupying power” both in relation to Crimea (she directly writes: “Russia’s annexation of Crimea”) and in relation to the eastern regions of Ukraine.
The prosecutor fulfils an order for the legal demonisation of Russia in the Ukrainian conflict. And she does it legally so rudely that there is no doubt about the unscrupulous nature of her actions.
The individuals who committed a coup d’etat in the country and used violence against a part of their own population are regarded in The Hague as legitimate authority!
This is an example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and, in particular, the examination by the International Criminal Court of the crimes committed in Ukraine during the 2013-2014 protests in Crimea and Donbas.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not demonise Russia. The Prosecutor did not call Russia an occupying power in Crimea or Donbas. In the statement, the Prosecutor mentioned that in order to establish the truth, the ICC is going to cooperate with the authorities of Ukraine and Russia equally.
The Prosecutor announced that the stage of a preliminary examination of the situation in Ukraine that opened on 24 April 2014, is over. The Prosecutor's Office has concluded that there is a reasonable basis at this time to believe that a broad range of conduct constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed in the context of the situation in Ukraine. Therefore, it was established that the statutory criteria for opening investigations into the situation in Ukraine are met.
The Prosecutor also stated that all the findings of the preliminary examination will be spelt out in more detail in ICC's annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities.
Previously, the Office of the Prosecutor informed on the progress in annual reports. The report for 2019 informed that the Prosecutor shall deliver the conclusion by the end of 2020.
The International Criminal Court acts in accordance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Article 53 clearly defines the reasons when an investigation is initiated. One of them states that an investigation opens if there is "a reasonable basis to believe that a crime [...] has been or is being committed".
See similar disinformation cases with respect to the ICC: that the Hague court did not recognise the sovereignty of Ukraine over Crimea, that the Hague court recognised Crimea as Russian, or that the advance of ISIS in Africa is supported by the International Criminal Court.