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Biden Administration not ready to unambiguously support Kiev’s position on Crimea — report

According to the article, the Biden Administration is "keeping the door open" on the Crimea issue

WASHINGTON, March 6. /TASS/. The US Administration is currently unwilling to unambiguously support Ukraine’s plans to capture Crimea, and Washington tries to avoid publicly clarifying its position on this issue, The Hill says in an op-ed published Sunday.

According to the article, the Biden Administration is "keeping the door open" on the Crimea issue. The Administration officials "have repeatedly sidestepped questions about whether Washington would support Kyiv’s efforts to retake" the peninsula, "punting the issue to further ‘down the road’."

"Though U.S. officials have said that Washington will support Ukraine for however long it takes for them to win the war, they’ve been unwilling to give full support to Kyiv’s ambitions in Crimea," the article reads, noting that this is in part due to heavy weapons that would be necessary to restore control over Crimea, including long-range missiles, tanks and planes.

The op-ed notes that US lawmakers asked the Administration to clarify its position on Crimea, but its officials have chosen to stick to a "strategy of ambiguity." In particular, this is the approach that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan adheres to.

"They may believe that there is value in holding Crimea at risk in order to put pressure on the Russians to come to the negotiating table," says Chris Chivvis, a former U.S. national intelligence officer in Europe and current director of the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment. "It’s possible that that’s driving their policy. […] Even if they don’t actually believe that it’s likely that Crimea will be returned to Ukraine militarily."

Following the coup 2014 d’etat in Ukraine, authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum on reconciliation with Russia. Over 80% eligible voters participated, with approximately 96% of all voters favoring the reconciliation. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia; lawmakers ratified the treaty on March 21. Despite the convincing outcome, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.