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Ukraine 'has very significant international support' over Crimea

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By euronews
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walking to attend the Independence Day military parade in Kiev
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walking to attend the Independence Day military parade in Kiev   -   Copyright  AFP / Ukranian Presidential Press Service

The international community is making a significant effort to allow Ukraine to plot its own independent path, an expert has told Euronews. 

John Lough, from the think tank Chatham House, was speaking as the country marked 30 years since it decided to leave the Soviet Union. 

Three decades on, Ukraine is on a path towards EU and NATO membership, but Moscow is still very much on the country's radar. 

Kyiv is currently locked in a war with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. 

On Monday, a summit was held in Kyiv to discuss the possibility of returning the Crimean peninsula to Ukrainian government control.

But beyond the summit, what is concretely being done, Lough was asked. 

"Concretely I would say a certain number of things are being done," said Lough, an associate fellow at Chatham House's Russia and Eurasia Programme.

"Firstly, there is a very significant effort on the part of Western countries to reinforce Ukraine's independence, to give the country the space, if you like, to develop an independent path. 

"And in many ways, it's doing that quite successfully, albeit under huge pressure from Russia following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the destabilisation of the southeast of Ukraine, which has created an armed conflict on Ukraine's territory in which Russia is the major player. 

"But what I think was important about yesterday's event was that Ukraine succeeded in mobilising some very significant international support for its case that is widely accepted, that Russia illegally annexed its territory, Ukrainian territory, and that it violated its commitments not just to Ukraine, but also to European security."

_Watch the full interview with Lough in the video player, above. _