MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Moscow regards the remarks by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who on December 1, declared his intention to seize back Crimea in front of the country’s parliament, as a direct threat to Russia and an encroachment on a Russian region, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.
"We are analyzing the remarks by President Zelensky; yesterday’s remarks on the subject of Russia. Addressing the parliament, Zelensky said that bringing back Crimea should become Ukraine’s main goal and philosophy. We see it as a direct threat aimed at Russia. This sort of wording indicates that the regime in Kiev intends to use any and all available means, including ones involving force, in order to encroach on a Russian region. This is exactly how we are inclined to perceive this," the Kremlin official specified.
After the Western-backed February 2014 coup in Ukraine, 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.