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Lawmaker advises US Secretary of Transportation to visit Crimea, not ‘Crimean Platform’

Head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky emphasized that any talk of ‘de-occupation’ would be perceived as an attack on Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky Donat Sorokin/TASS
Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky
© Donat Sorokin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky has advised the representatives of the US administration to visit Crimea instead of the Russophobic Crimean Platform summit in Kiev.

"The Crimean Platform is a stillborn format from the start which is indicated at least by the fact that Kiev does not disclose the list of the participants of the so-called summit. Probably, due to the fact that there are not many serious politicians and high-ranking officials wishing to participate, to put it mildly," he wrote on his Telegram channel.

The lawmaker pointed out that the US would be represented at the summit by US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, according to Mustafa Dzhemilev, a member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada. "I don’t exclude that they were drawing straws at the White House when deciding whom to send to Ukraine. Moreover, the US leadership should not have been expected," he noted.

"Earlier, the Russian side has already commented on the provocative nature of the Crimean Platform. Crimea is a territory of the Russian Federation by the decision of Crimeans and residents of Sevastopol. The issue is closed! Any talk of ‘de-occupation’ will be perceived as an attack on Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the lawmaker emphasized.

He also pointed out that "it would be more useful for Mr. Buttigieg to actually visit the peninsula, not Kiev, in order to adopt the best practices of implementation of the largest infrastructure projects - the Tavrida Highway and the Kerch Strait Bridge which were built after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in record time." "This could become grounds for cooperation and not participation in yet another Russophobic conference that from the outset is unable to deliver any effective results," the lawmaker concluded.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced the creation of the Crimean Platform to coordinate efforts on the international level to reinstate Ukrainian jurisdiction on the peninsula. The venue should open with a so-called inauguration summit scheduled for August 23, 2021. It is planned that it will function on several levels: heads of state and government, foreign ministers, lawmakers, the network of experts. Earlier, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry promised to name the participants closer to the event.

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 has refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.