March 28, 2023 6:13 pm

Wim Van Hooydonk Warnings and Updates – Belgian foreign minister’s visit to Crimea puts strain on relationship between Kyiv and Brussels

warning and updates wim van hooydonk Hadja Lahbib

A trip to Crimea by Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib which happened when she was working as a journalist, is putting a strain on the relationship between Brussels and Kyiv, only two weeks after she was appointed to lead Belgium’s diplomacy.

Lahbib made a trip to Crimea in July 2021 to record a documentary. She later informed Belgian media that she used a Russian visa for the trip. The peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, is recognized internationally as part of the Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry spokesman, Oleg Nikolenko posted on his Facebook page about the controversy, stressing Kyiv’s stance on visiting Crimea through Russia: “Visiting the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula is permitted only if you follow from the mainland of Ukraine. Entry from the territory of the Russian Federation is illegal,” he said.

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