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SIMFEROPOL, September 11. /TASS/. Member of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) and former Crimean Vice Premier Ruslan Balbek has criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stance on Crimea, stating that it is based on her anti-Russian views.
Merkel earlier said once again that she does not recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Commenting on the situation in Crimea in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, she recalled the history of German unity and draw a parallel between Crimea’s incorporation into Russia and the German unification.
"Mrs. Merkel is sly abut Crimea for the sake of her personal anti-Russian stance. Germany used to be divided, that’s a fact, while Crimea has always been associated with Russia, it’s also a fact. It was illegally presented to Ukraine, that’s a fact too. No matter how hard the German chancellor tries to brush them off, these hard facts cannot be ignored. All attempts to divert the discussion to a divided Germany are meant for not very well educated voters, putting it mildly," Balbek told TASS.
He noted that Merkel is well aware of the fact that "even a divided Germany spoke the same language, whereas Crimea separated from its homeland was reluctant to accept the Ukrainian ideology."
Head of Germany’s Free Democratic Party Christian Lindner earlier suggested temporarily taking the Crimean issue off the table and building relations with Russia without taking the Crimean issue into account. His stance drew criticism from members of the government and representatives of all major political parties except for Alternative for Germany.
Amid the political crisis and regime change in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council (parliament) and Sevastopol’s City Council adopted on March 11, 2014, Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s declaration of independence. A referendum on reunification with Russia was held on March 16, 2014. With a record-breaking turnout of over 80%, the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s and Sevastopol residents, mostly ethic Russians, (96.7 and 95.6%, respectively) voted in favor of seceding from Ukraine to join Russia. After the treaty of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia was approved by the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin on March 21, 2014, signed a federal law on their incorporation into Russia. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev has refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.