Astrid Thors indicated that the continuing blockade of commercial vehicles bound for Crimea may exert impact on the situation in the region and may fuel further tensions

 

Food blockade of Crimea organized by Ukrainian activists is causing concern at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and it may trigger a hike of tensions, Astrid Thors, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities said on Thursday as she addressed a session of the security organization’s Permanent Council.

 

She indicated that the continuing civil blockade of commercial vehicles bound for Crimea, which has been organized by some members of the Crimean Tatar minority and activists of nongovernmental organizations, may exert impact on the situation in and around Crimea and may fuel further tensions, especially if it intensifies.

 

Deputies of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Mustafa Cemilev and Refat Ciubarow, as well the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea, Lenur Isliamov who owns the ATR television channel, launched a long-term foodstuff blockade of the peninsula on September 20. The activist of the Meclis (public council), which is not registered in Russia officially, and the militants from the Right Sector movement of far-right Ukrainian nationalists are blocking the passage of trucks carrying commodities from Ukraine to Crimea.

 

In the first days of November, the Crimean branch of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) instituted a criminal case against Isliamov.

 

Crimean authorities say along with it the action organized by the pro-Kiev radicals has had practically no effect on supplies of foodstuffs to the peninsular region that reunited with Russia in March 2014 after a landslide vote in favor of this reunification in a national referendum.