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MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Those who know Russian history have understood the pointlessness of anti-Russian sanctions from the very start, State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Friday.
"In addition to the so-called sanctions, special very tough restrictions against Russia continue to be enforced by a group of Western countries aimed at breaking the will of Crimeans and Sevastopol residents," Naryshkin told a plenary session in the State Duma devoted to the two-year anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
"It was clear from the very start for those who knows the history of Crimea and Sevastopol history of Russia at least a little bit that all these anti-Crimean and anti-Russian measures will have an adverse effect," he added.
"Twenty-three years of Kiev’s control took a toll on Crimeans," he went on. "Over the last two decades, many politicians in Ukraine only fanned ethnic and sectarian tensions. Kiev is still trying to play this cars. Provocations and Crimea’s blockade by Kiev do not stop," he concluded.
The West, inspired by the United States, subjected Russian officials and companies to the first batch of sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. New, sectoral, penalties against Russia were announced in late July 2014 over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Russia’s alleged involvement in hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled south-east.
Russia responded with imposing on August 6, 2014 a ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, and Moscow has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine.
The Russian State Duma has made colossal work over the last two years to integrate Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia’s legal framework, Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Friday.
"The State Duma has actively cooperated over the last two years with Crimeans and Sevastopol residents. Colossal work has been done to integrate the city and peninsula into Russia’s legal framework," Naryshkin told a plenary session in the State Duma devoted to the two-year anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
"Modern Russia, and not only Russia, understands very well that Crimea’s return to Russia was historically inevitable and morally fair," he added. Naryshkin noted that he is proud that the Duma of the sixth convocation "was trusted with implementing the will of Crimeans, of Russia, the will of several generations, into federal laws."
Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. In mid-March 2014, Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum. More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia.
Results of the referendum were celebrated by many Crimeans but the vote was widely criticized by Western leaders and at the United Nations. In the Soviet Union, Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev transferred the Crimean region, along with Sevastopol, to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift.