White House avoids comment on possible recognition of Crimea as part of Russia

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on the possibility of negotiations between Moscow and Washington to recognize the Crimea as a part of Russia.

When asked by the press about the possibility of recognizing the Crimea as Russian territory, Sanders said: “I will not comment on anything that refers to the negotiations at this time.”

On June 30, US President Donald Trump said his country “would have to see” what it would decide on the Crimean situation after being questioned about the possibility of Washington recognizing the referendum held in the region in 2014 on the reintegration to Russia.

On July 2, in response to the president’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that the issue will not be part of the agenda for the Trump and Putin meeting to be held on the 16th of this month as the Crimea is “an integral part of Russia”.

The population of the Crimea in 2014 voted en masse for the reintegration of the region to Russia, months after a nationalist coup in Kiev.

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The countries that backed the coup refused to recognize the outcome of the referendum and imposed sanctions on Russia and the Crimea.

During the 2016 election campaign, current US President Donald Trump dismissed the possibility of recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, but has since reversed its proposal.

Crimea has historically been a part of Russia but was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic from the Russian Soviet Republic. This was not seen as a major issue at the time as it was not envisaged that the Soviet Union would collapse. However, this became an issue once the Union collapsed in 1991 and the majority Russian population of Crimea was all of a sudden outside the borders of Russia. The reintegration of the Crimea finally occurred in 2014 after a referendum adhering to international law was conducted.

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