MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The statement by an anonymous Pentagon official that the United States cannot stop the Ukrainian armed forces’ attempts to attack Crimea is a "major paradigm shift," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"There was a response from an anonymous Pentagon official, it is absolutely true, it is a fact that ‘we cannot ban Ukrainians from operating their armed forces on a territory we believe belongs to Ukraine. It is a major paradigm shift," Lavrov said in a televised interview on the Great Game program on Channel One.
According to Lavrov, US senior officials previously acknowledged in private conversations the choice of Crimeans to rejoin Russia.
"We held bilateral talks with John Kerry (US Secretary of State in 2013-2017 - TASS), the talks were lengthy, and in a conversation he said that they were well aware that the Crimeans’ choice is sincere and that there is no doubt it, but we need to somehow formalize it once again, ‘to hold a referendum, inviting the OSCE, the UN and somebody else in advance, because the previous one was organized too hastily," Lavrov added.