Crimea is Russia, but Moscow still expects constructive relations with Trump

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February 15, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

Crimeans celebrate reunification with Russia – March, 2014

“Russia does not return its own territory,” Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated in response to the White House’s latest demand that Russia “return Crimea.” 

“We do not return our own territory. Crimea is the territory of the Russian Federation,” she stressed. 

Just before, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated that US President Donald Trump expects Russia to achieve de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and “return Crimea.” Spicer also said that Washington’s sanction policy towards Moscow remains unchanged. He confirmed that Trump “wants to get along with Russia unlike the previous administration.” 

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Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has remarked that Russia, as a guarantor of the Minsk Agreements, will continue to give efforts towards de-escalating the conflict in Ukraine and intends to patiently explain to partners, including the US, the reasons why Crimea joining the Russian Federation. 

“With regards to the return of Crimea, this topic will not be discussed because it cannot be discussed. Russia does not discuss questions of its own territory with foreign partners. We also expect that contact [with the new US administration] will be established and that we will have the opportunity to efficiently, peacefully, and constructively convey our argumentation to our American partners,” Peskov added. 

Peskov noted that still nothing has been established in relations between Moscow and the new US administration. “For now there has only been an exchange of statements of intent to build relations, which at the current moment are for obvious reasons in a poor state,” he replied to the question of whether the Kremlin will officially reply to the White House Press Secretary’s statement.

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Peskov explained: “In this case, there is no need to rush things. The process of the acting president completing the formation of his administration is currently ongoing, therefore it is simply necessary to wait until the first contact begins.”

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