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Berlin, Kiev have no hopes Russia will return Crimea — German politician

October 29, 2017, 0:44 UTC+3 BERLIN

Lambsdorff spoke in favor of dialogue with Moscow regardless the crisis over the Black Sea peninsula

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BERLIN, October 28. /TASS/. Both Berlin and Kiev do not believe that Russia can return Crimea to Ukraine, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a German politician of the Free Democratic Party, said in an interview with the German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

"Even the government in Kiev has lost hope Moscow will give Crimea back in the foreseeable future," he said. "We have the same opinion."

At the same time, Lambsdorff spoke in favor of dialogue with Moscow regardless the crisis over the Black Sea peninsula.

"We share the stance that dialogue with Moscow can be possible over issues of mutual interest," he noted. "However, our legal stance remains the same: Crimea’s annexation is a gross violation of international law."

The politician says the Free Democratic Party, which might make up a ruling coalition along with Angela Merkel’s bloc and the Greens, have developed a firm opinion that "anti-Russia sanctions are well-grounded and should remain in place."

"In case of the conflict escalation, we will stand up for their toughening," Lambsdorff added.

On 16 March 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, President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Russia’s Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21.

Ukraine refused to recognize the referendum was legitimate. In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Crimea and Russia and have repeatedly extended and expanded them.

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