Russia says it will not return Crimea to Ukraine

Crimea is Russian territory, foreign ministry spokeswoman says one day after US says Trump expects Russia to return it

Russia says it will not return Crimea to Ukraine

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia will not return Crimea to Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

"We do not return our territories. Crimea is a territory of the Russian Federation," Zakharova said at a press conference in Moscow a day after the U.S. asked Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a daily news briefing on Tuesday that "President [Donald] Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in Ukraine and return Crimea."

"At the same time, he [Trump] fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with Russia," he said.

Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s international affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, said Wednesday that Washington's remarks were "alarming".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that President Vladimir Putin did not discuss Crimea issue with Trump on the phone [last month], Russia's official TASS news agency reported Wednesday.

"With regard to Crimea's return, this topic will not be discussed, because it can not be discussed. Russia does not discuss its territorial issues with foreign partners," Peskov was quoted as saying.

Trump spoke with Putin on the phone on Jan. 28 for the first time since the former was elected last November.

Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after an illegal independence vote.

This had followed violent anti-government protests which led to the overthrow of the then-President Victor Yanukovich.

The UN General Assembly voted to proclaim the Russian annexation illegal.

Along with many UN countries, the U.S., the EU and Turkey also do not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Şubat 2017, 13:43