MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent statements on improving relations with Russia serve as evidence that this approach is gaining popularity in the United States, chairman of Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev said on Thursday.
"Trump has repeatedly proven that he, like no one else, understands the public’s demand for a change in course, and the attitudes of a large part of voters who have grown tired of the Clintons and the Bushes," Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page.
The fact that a presidential candidate is speaking out in favor of improving relations with Russia means that "similar sentiment is becoming more and more popular in US, and it can bring political points," he added. "Only time will tell whether Trump is ready or, which is no less important, capable of implementing this. It is definitely too early to celebrate," the lawmaker noted.
For now, any interpretations of Trump’s plans on recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and lifting sanctions if he becomes president "are like gazing into a crystal ball, just like with his other vociferous statements," Kosachev added.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said earlier that if elected, he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions against Russia.
Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities who took power amid riots during the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.
On March 16, 2014 more than 82% of Crimea’s electorate voted in a referendum, where 96.77% of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol supported breaking away from Ukraine and in favor of reuniting with Russia.
On March 18, Crimea’s treaty on reunification with Russia was signed. In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Crimea and Russia, repeatedly expanding and prolonging them.