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Trump may consider recognition of Crimea as part of Russia

He also intends to consider issues on removal of sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis

NEW YORK, July 27. /TASS/. If elected U.S. president, Donald Trump, the Republican Party's candidate, intends to consider issues on recognition of Crimea as a Russian region and on removal of sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, Trump told a news conference in Florida.

Answering a reporter's question of he would recognize Crimea as part of Russia and if he would consider a possibility of lifting sanctions from Russia in case he won the presidential race, Trump said that they would consider the issues but added no more details.

Meanwhile, the party's delegates supported maintaining sanctions against Russia in the 2016 Republican Platform approved at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (Ohio).

"We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored," the platform reads. "We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning."

Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

On March 16, 2014 more than 82% of Crimea’s electorate took part in the referendum, when 96.77% in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% in the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia. On March 18, the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia was signed.

Results of the referendum were celebrated by many Crimeans but the vote was widely criticized by Western leaders and at the United Nations that alongside Ukraine refused to recognize the referendum was legitimate.

In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Crimea and Russia and have repeatedly extended and expanded them.