MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Moscow is not going to discuss the Crimean issue with Washington because this is a closed chapter, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday during a session of the Fort Ross Dialogue international forum.
According to the senior diplomat, Russia and the United States should more actively work on improving bilateral ties. "As for the Crimean issue, there is nothing to discuss here," Ryabkov said. "This is not a problem, everything was solved a long time ago."
Moscow is not ready to exchange sanctions with the US on this issue indefinitely, the deputy foreign minister said. "If the US wants to step up [sanctions] then please. But at some moment it will become clear that this policy is not effective," he noted. "It will show that this is futile."
The Fort Ross Dialogue international forum is held in a videoconference format and is sponsored by Transneft, Chevron, and Sovcomflot.
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.