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Ukraine’s first president acknowledges Crimea as part of Russia

August 24, 16:12 UTC+3 KIEV
First Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk says Donbass can return without fail, but not Crimea
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Leonid Kravchuk

Leonid Kravchuk


KIEV, August 24. /TASS/. First Ukrainian President, Leonid Kravchuk, has admitted Crimea is part of Russia.

"In actual fact, it (Crimea) is already Russia," Kravchuk told Ukraine’s UNN News Agency when asked when one could expect the Black Sea peninsula and part of the Donbass region to return under Kiev’s control.

"Let us divide (these issues). Donbass will return without fail, and we will not have to wait long. As for Crimea, we will have to wait for a long time. Crimea was drawn into Moscow’s orbit, so it is already part of the Russian federal system. In actual fact, it is already Russia," Kravchuk stressed.

The Crimean authorities held a referendum on March 16, 2014, based on local residents’ attitude to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. With a record turnout of over 80%, 96.7% of Crimean residents and 95.6% of voters in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol voted for the Black Sea peninsula’s reintegration into Russia.

The treaty on integrating the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia was approved by both houses of the Russian parliament, after which President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law on incorporating the two new constituent entities into the Russian Federation.

Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, despite the referendum’s overwhelming definitive results.

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