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Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protests against Kazakh president’s statement on Crimea

Tokayev said earlier that Kazakhstan did not consider Crimea’s reunification with Russia to be an annexation

KIEV, December 5. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry invited Kazakhstan’s ambassador to protest against Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s statement on Crimea, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Ukraine Samar Ordabayev was invited to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on December 5, 2019," the statement reads. "Ukraine expressed concern about Kazakhstan’s position," the ministry added.

According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the meeting’s participants also discussed relations between Ukraine and Kazakhstan, including cooperation within international organizations. The parties reaffirmed their "strong commitment to mutual respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Tokayev said earlier in an interview with Deutsche Welle that Kazakhstan did not consider Crimea’s reunification with Russia to be an annexation. When asked if the Kazakh authorities had been frightened by events in Ukraine, particularly by "the annexation of Crimea," he said that "annexation is too strong a word to describe what happened in Crimea."

Crimean reunification

After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests erupted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.

On March 16, 2014, Crimean authorities held a referendum on reuniting with Russia. Over 80% of voters participated in the plebiscite, most of them supporting the idea (96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol).

On March 18, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21. However, Kiev has so far refused to acknowledge Crimea as part of Russia.