KIEV, August 18. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has sent a new protest note to Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Crimea.
"The Ukrainian side considers the specified visit and other so-called visits of Russian officials to permanently occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol a serious violation of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has been given the corresponding protest note," the Ukrainian ministry stated.
Vladimir Putin visited a new Sevastopol school - the Kazachya Bukhta educational center - on August 18 as part of his working visit. He was accompanied by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Plenipotentiary Presidential Representative in the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov, Education Minister Olga Vasilyeva and provisional Governor of Sevastopol Dmitry Ovsyannikov.
After Kiev’s coup d’etat in February 2014, Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s authorities decided to hold a referendum on reunification with Russia. More than 80% of people who have the voting right took part in the vote on March 16, 2014. A total of 96.7% and 95.6% of residents in Crimea and Sevastopol respectively voted for reunification with Russia. Russia’s president signed an agreement to make Crimea and Sevastopol part of Russia on March 18, and on March 21 the document was ratified by the Federal Assembly. Despite the referendum’s convincing results, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
Russian officials, as well as foreign politicians, have been visiting Crimea since 2014 on a regular basis. In each case Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry voiced an objection by such actions. Russia’s authorities have stated numerous times that Crimea is the Russian territory and may not be debated.