MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The West’s actions cannot change the fact that Crimea is now part of Russia and will be it for good, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"Crimea’s future is to be with Russia forever. Whether one likes it or not. No actions taken by the Western nations led by the United States can change this reality, either from the point of view of international law, or from the political or moral points of view," he said in an interview with the Krym-24 television channel on the 7th anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
He recalled that seven years ago Crimea’s residents had voted for joining Russia "in full compliance with international law." "This format to implement the right of nations to self-determination, which is committed to paper in the United Nations Charter, was the only way to defend Crimean residents’ interests, dignity and lives amid threats from nationalists and neo-Nazis who took power in Kiev after an unconstitutional armed coup," he stressed.
The minister pledged that Russian diplomacy will continue "efforts to make our foreign partners finally see the realities of Crimea’s being back home."
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification treaties on March 18, 2014. The documents were ratified by Russia’s Federal Assembly, or bicameral parliament, on March 21.
Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union keep on refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.