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Russian lawmaker: Crimea and Sevastopol were "like unloved stepchildren for Ukraine"

March 18, 21:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian State Duma Vice-Speaker Sergey Neverov spoke at a rally and a concert held on Red Square on Friday to celebrate the second anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia
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Celebration in Moscow
© Sergey Bobylev/TASS
Celebration in Moscow
© Sergey Bobylev/TASS
Celebration in Moscow
© Sergey Bobylev/TASS
Celebration in Moscow
© Sergey Bobylev/TASS
Celebration in Moscow
© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 18 /TASS/. The West cannot forgive Russian President Vladimir Putin for not giving up on his people in Crimea, Russian State Duma Vice-Speaker Sergey Neverov said at a rally and a concert held on Red Square on Friday to celebrate the second anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

"We all gathered here two years ago to welcome Crimea and Sevastopol back home," Neverov, who is the secretary of the United Russia General Council, said.

"They have been trying to put us down on our knees for two years. For two years, they have been exerting pressure on us demanding that we turn down the decision made by the people of Crimea and Sevastopol. They, in the West, cannot come to terms with the fact that Putin is not leaving his people in trouble," Neverov said adding that Russia and its two new regions had covered a long way over the past two years.

"Crimea and Sevastopol were like unloved stepchildren for Ukraine. No one helped these regions, their resources were depleted as if someone wanted to take a revenge on Crimea and Sevastopol for being invisibly linked to Russia," the politician went on to say.

"They are imposing sanctions on us but we are building schools; they are imposing sanctions but we are building kindergartens; they are imposing sanctions but we are building hospitals, roads and electric power lines. They are trying to exert pressure on us but it’s all in vain," Neverov said.

"Crimea has always been with us. They cannot understand that Crimea and Sevastopol have always been with Russia even in those 23 years when they were parts of a foreign country. Crimea is Russia - forever," Neverov said congratulating all the people present on Red Square. He wished them good mood and a nice summer vacation in Crimea.

Russia is marking the second anniversary of Crimea’s referendum on the peninsula’s status. On March 16, 2014, almost 97% of the peninsula’s population voted for reunification with Russia. An agreement on admission of the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol into Russia and the creation of two constituent entities was signed on March 18.

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