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Term 'annexation' cannot be applied to Crimea’s reunification with Russia — Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the statement on the 'annexation' of Crimea is an insult to the residents of Crimea
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotaev
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotaev

MOSCOW, March 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The term 'annexation' cannot be applied to the process of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“When our foreign colleagues use the term 'annexation', I tell them, Ask your spokespersons and press services to take videos from Crimea, where residents of the peninsula demonstrate sincere joy from the accession to Russia,” he said. “It is impossible to play this, impossible to rehearse, impossible to stage-manage this joy, this true happiness (of the Crimeans)," Lavrov added.

The statement on the 'annexation' of Crimea is an insult to the residents of Crimea, Lavrov went on to say at a meeting at Federation Council on the ratification of the agreement on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. “So, when against this background the terms like ‘annexation’ are unjustifiably used, I believe that it is an insult to the citizens, encroachment on their inalienable rights to the expression of will that they have fully exercised,” Lavrov stressed.

Russia could not give up assistance to brotherly peoples in Crimea, Lavrov continued.

“The present Ukrainian authorities did not leave another chance to Crimea. Russia could not refuse to positively react to brotherly peoples’ request,” the foreign minister said.


Sanctions are irrational

Sanctions against Russia are irrational, they create obstacles to normal contacts, says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He stressed that sanctions "have no future."

“They (Western partners) know that these sanctions are absolutely unjustified. These sanctions will only create barriers to normal contacts and normal communication,” he said. “They are absolutely irrational," Lavrov stressed.

Contacts with Western partners “take place every day,” Lavrov said. “Frankly speaking, they produce an ambivalent impression. On the one hand, they take place against the backdrop of sanctions and announcement of different lists. On the other hand, we are told that all this does not mean that the West does not want to cooperate with us in searching for a political settlement to Ukraine’s crisis. Nobody should be persuaded that we are ready for this. From the very beginning we have called for a political settlement.”

Russia’s proposals on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine are still relevant, Lavrov noted.

“It is very difficult to dispute them because they are based on the agreement of February 21 (on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine),” the foreign minister stressed.

“Of course, rather evident inconsistency of our Western partners' behavior recently supplemented with a feeling that they are at a loss to some extent do not help us at different stages of our contacts,” Lavrov said.

Russia will laud any inter-parliamentary contacts with Ukraine, Lavrov noted.

“We don’t seek to break relations. We have to live nearby Ukrainian neighbors, and inter-parliamentary relations play a positive role,” the foreign minister said. However, the foreign minister has urged Ukraine to get rid of radicals in the country.