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MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. The initiative of the ‘Parliament of the Republic of Venice’ nongovernmental organization to recognize Crimea as part of Russia serves as evidence that the policy of anti-Russian sanctions in Europe has come to a dead-end, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Izvestiya newspaper in an interview published on Wednesday.
Voting on the resolution by the "Parliament of the Republic of Venice" civic organization, "as well as other political processes, such as public opinion polls, referendum in the Netherlands - all this shows that the process of anti-Russian propaganda in the context of Ukraine has not only come to a dead-end, it also starts unwinding backwards and working against those who launched it. This is just the beginning," Zakharova said.
European countries lost their sovereignty in foreign policy due to such factors as the Syrian crisis, situation in the Middle East and North Africa, US interference into the internal affairs of Ukraine and other European countries, she added. However, Europeans start to understand now that this policy is directed only against Europe, the diplomat concluded.
Russian media said on Monday that the parliament of Venetia would allegedly vote on May 18 to recognize Crimea as part of Russia and to lift sanctions. Later, the city press service told TASS that reports "are not consistent with the reality."
This referred to a media campaign by the "Parliament of the Republic of Venice" civic organization that has been active within the past six years under the slogans of autonomy verging on separatism. Sometimes the organization cooperates with such parties as Lega Nord (Northern League in English) and Forza Italia (Forward, Italy).
Formally, it sets an aim to promote re-discovery of heritage and traditions of the medieval Most Serene Republic of Venice.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
For incorporation of Crimea, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries.