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Crimean issue should not hamper good relations with Kiev and West, says Russian official

Deputy head of the Russian presidential administration Dmitry Kozak also warned against linking the Crimean issue to the problem of the settlement of the conflict in Donbass because it will pose "risks of getting bogged down in political discussions for years"

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Crimea’s reunification with Russia is a fact of life, and it should not be an obstacle for building good relations with Russia’s neighbors, deputy head of the Russian presidential administration Dmitry Kozak said in an interview with the French Politique Internationale quarterly posted on the website of the Russian embassy in France on Tuesday.

"I think it is inappropriate to discuss the Crimean issue today," he said. "Crimea’s reunification with Russia is an accomplished fact, a fact of life. As one of the senior officials of the European Commission said 15 years ago, when Kosovo’s future was discussed, this issue should be looked at today from the point of view of ‘historicism’. Although Crimea’s history is only eight years, today, no one can even imagine, how to reverse this history, and now more than 90% of Crimeans support the decision to join Russia."

He warned against linking the Crimean issue to the problem of the settlement of the conflict in Donbass because it will pose "risks of getting bogged down in political discussions for years".

He stressed that Moscow is interested in cooperating with all neighboring states. "As for the settlement of our relations with Ukraine and Western countries, we are interested in such a settlement, first of all, in building good-neighborly relations will all of our neighbors," he said. "Time is a healer. The sooner we turn over this page in our relations, the sooner we will be thinking about our joint co-existence in the future. Sorry for being commonplace, but we are doomed to be together, despite our differences."