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Matviyenko: Russia seeks normal relations with Ukraine but excludes return of Crimea

June 25, 2014, 18:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“It was neither aggression nor annexation,” the Federation Council speaker noted
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Russia’s parliamentary upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko

Russia’s parliamentary upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko

© ITAR-TASSValery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, June 25. /ITAR-TASS/. There is no question of “returning” Crimea to Ukraine, but this should not get in the way of normalizing relations with the neighboring state, Russia’s parliamentary upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko told journalists on Wednesday.

“Crimea is a part of Russia de facto and de jure,” she said. “These [the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol] are two Russian regions. And there can be no compromise in this regard.”

“It was neither aggression nor annexation,” she said. “This is almost a one-hundred-percent wish of the Crimean citizens, who have expressed their will in full conformity with international law and the United Nations documents. And this is a top priority.”

“A referendum has taken place… Nobody can cancel or haggle over the right of Crimean people to self-determination,” Matviyenko added. “But it does not mean that this can prevent Russia from building up normal interstate relations with Ukraine.”

Crimea is deemed accepted to the Russian Federation following the results of a referendum, held in the republic on March 16. According to final referendum returns, 96.77% of Crimean residents who voted in the referendum backed Crimea’s reunification with Russia without taking into account the voting results in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. 95.6% of local residents participating in the plebiscite supported Sevastopol’s accession to Russia.

On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. The signing ceremony was held at the Catherine Hall of the Kremlin. Putin signed a law on the ratification of the interstate Agreement “On the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and Forming New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation” that had been signed on March 18. According to the Agreement, from this date the Republic of Crimea is considered a territory of the Russian Federation. Putin also signed a federal constitutional law on Crimea’s accession to Russia and on forming new constituent entities in the country - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.

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