MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The Kremlin expects that Belarus will make an independent and timely decision on recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
The spokesman said that this issue was not on the agenda of the recent bilateral talks in Sochi between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.
"No, this is absolutely an internal matter and the sovereign right of Belarus," Peskov said, replying to a question on whether Putin and Lukashenko discussed this issue during their meeting in Sochi. "We expect that our Belarusian friends will make an independent and timely decision regarding this matter."
On August 9, 2021, Lukashenko said that Belarus would recognize Crimea as part of Russia when "the last Russian oligarch" starts delivering goods there. He added that he would take this step although he had "his hands tied."
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russian, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities that seized power amid riots during the illegitimate coup of February 2014 in Ukraine.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.7% 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 overwhelming results of the referendum, Ukraine still refuses to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.