BRUSSELS, November 17. /TASS/. Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday that the issue of Crimea’s reunification with Russia would emerge on the table of negotiations after the current crisis in Ukraine is settled.
Crimea, donated as a “gift” to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, reunited with Russia in March 2014 after a referendum, which saw a landslide vote in favor reunification.
Gentiloni said the EU could not recognize the operation of Crimea’s reunion with the Russian Federation and the problem would be taken up at negotiations with Moscow after solution for settlement of the conflict in Ukraine was found.
He indicated that the “annexation of Crimea” was one of the reasons for keeping up the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions.
Gentiloni confirmed the EU had decided to refrain from imposing new sanctions in connection with Russia’s position on Ukraine, adding that the blacklisting of more people connected with “separatists” - the term the West applies to the leaders and fighters of self-defence forces in much-troubled war-torn eastern Ukraine - did not mean either a loosening or tightening of restrictions imposed on Russia.