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Russian parliamentarian says Ukraine owes Russia compensation for Crimea

October 19, 21:25 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Ukraine has used the territory for more than 20 years without sufficient legal grounds, the parliamentarian said

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SIMFEROPOL, October 19. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities should pay compensation to Russia for Crimea which Ukraine had used illegitimately for more than 20 years, a parliamentarian from the Russian State Duma lower house told TASS on Thursday.

President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman said on October 10 that Crimea’s reunification with Russia was already an "accomplished fact" and any Ukraine’s attempts to return the Black Sea peninsula would trigger a European war.

The Czech leader added that Russia could pay compensation to Ukraine "in financial form or in oil and gas." He said that if Ukraine disagrees, it would mean a "European war." He also criticized Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s decision on handing over Crimea to Ukraine in 1954.

"Speaking about who owes whom and how much, it is rather Ukraine that should pay Russia for ‘the lease’ of Crimea, as it had used the territory for more than 20 years without sufficient legal grounds," said Andrei Kozenko. "Crimean residents are not serfs to buy them out for money," he stressed.

"We expressed our position legitimately, at a referendum in 2014. Disregarding the view of Crimean residents is as illegal as demanding a bribe for the lifting of sanctions,’ he said when asked to comment on the results of an opinion poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center published on Thursday, in which most Russians (90%) said they don’t support the Czech president’s compensation proposal.

Following the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, the authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum on March 16, 2014, on reunification with Russia after sixty years under the sway of Ukraine. More than 80% of registered voters came to the polls and of that number, 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol voted in favor of reunification.

On March 18, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, and both houses of Russian parliament ratified it on March 21.

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