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MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The words of US Vice President Joseph Biden that Washington has not changed its position on Crimea’s reunification with Russia are just symbolic, Alexey Pushkov, head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs, told TASS on Tuesday.
Biden’s statement that "the US will never recognize Crimea had just a symbolic meaning as no matter what the US attitude to Crimea’s reunification with Russia is, this will have no influence on the Russian position and will be no decisive factor in future Russia-US relations," Pushkov said.
Pushkov stressed that "the situation with Crimea is and will be beyond NATO."
Earlier on Tuesday, US Vice President told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that Crimea as part of Russia "will not be accepted by us or by the international community."
Crimea rejoined Russia after a referendum in March 2014 when almost 97% of its residents voted for reunification.
The visit of US Vice President Joe Biden to Ukraine and his speech in the Verkhovna Rada confirm Washington’s plans for the rapprochement between Ukraine and NATO and preservation of its attention to relations with Kiev, Alexey Pushkov went on to say.
"The tactical dimension is that the Administration of (US President Barack) Obama shows both Ukraine and Russia that in an environment where the focus of international attention has shifted from the Ukrainian crisis to the situation in Syria, the fight against ISIL (former name of the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia) and the Middle East as a whole, the United States continues to attach great importance to its relations with Ukraine," the parliamentarian said. "Which means that this (Biden’s visit) designed to reassure the Ukrainian leadership that it will not be left to sink or swim, that the United States continues to stake on Ukraine and that Obama’s demonstrative disregard of (President Petro) Poroshenko does not mean that Ukraine will play a lesser role in the American foreign policy," he added.
The strategic dimension of the US vice president’s visit is that "in boosting its potential in confrontation with Russia, the United States’ stake on Ukraine is exceptionally high, since I think that the United States, which has mulled Ukraine’s inclusion into NATO since the mid-1990s, has preserved these plans," the Russian lawmaker said.
Pushkov noted that he had no doubts that these plans were developed, that "everything is done to bring Ukraine closer to the North Atlantic Alliance even without the formal membership, and at some point the United States may raise the issue with its allies." "The United States is interested in Ukraine’s strategic potential in countering and confrontation between the United States and the Western alliance and Russia," he said.