MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump’s remarks about a possibility of Crimea’s recognition as part of Russia, if he is elected president, does not change Moscow’s attitude to him, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
"No, the attitude to this candidate for U.S. presidency cannot be altered. It seems impossible to draw conclusions on the basis of pre-election rhetoric," Peskov said. "We know perfectly well that candidates say one things in the heat of election campaign but later after taking office and under a burden of responsibility, the rhetoric changes, becoming more balanced."
On July 27, Trump told a news conference in Florida he was planning to look into a possibility of Crimea’s recognition as a Russian region and of lifting sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
Answering a reporter's question if he would recognize Crimea as part of Russia and if he would consider a possibility of lifting sanctions from Russia in case he won the presidential race, Trump said that they would consider the issues but added no more details.
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. On March 16, 2014 more than 82% of Crimea’s electorate took part in the referendum, when 96.77% in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% in the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia. On March 18, the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia was signed.
In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Crimea and Russia and have repeatedly extended and expanded them.