State Department condemns Putin's speech on Ukrainian peninsula

State Department condemns Putin's speech on Ukrainian peninsula

The U.S. State Department has expressed a negative reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin's pre-election speech in the occupied Ukrainian Crimea, reminding Russia that sanctions will remain in place until complete de-occupation of the peninsula.

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said this in a statement issued on Wednesday, March 14, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"Four years ago this week, Russia held an illegitimate, fabricated 'referendum' in Ukraine in a futile attempt to legitimize its purported annexation of Ukrainian territory. Crimean residents were compelled to vote under scrutiny by heavily armed Russian troops," she said. 

She stressed that Russia's claim that Ukrainians made a free choice in that sham "referendum" has always lacked credibility.

"In his campaign rally in Crimea today, President Putin reiterated Russia's false claims to Ukrainian territory in another open admission that the Russian government disdains the international order and disrespects the territorial integrity of sovereign nations," Nauert said.

She emphasized that in addition to an illegitimate "referendum," Russia had violated a number of other obligations and norms, causing numerous human losses on the Ukrainian peninsula.

"Over the past four years, Russia has engaged in a campaign of coercion and violence, targeting anyone opposed to its attempted annexation. Russian occupation authorities have subjected Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians, pro-Ukrainian activists, civil society members, and independent journalists to politically motivated prosecution and ongoing repression, while methodically suppressing nongovernmental organizations and independent media outlets," the statement says.

In this regard, Nauert emphasized that the United States called on Russia to cease its attempts to quell fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion or belief.

"We reaffirm our commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Crimea is part of Ukraine and our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine," she said. 


Let’s get started read our news at facebook messenger > > > Click here for subscribe

While citing and using any materials on the Internet, links to the website not lower than the first paragraph are mandatory. In addition, citing the translated materials of foreign media outlets is possible only if there is a link to the website and to the website of a foreign media outlet. Citing and using materials in offline media, mobile apps, Smart TV are allowed only with written permission from Ukrinform. News and publications marked as "Advertisement" and "PR" and articles in the section "Releases" include promoted content, and an advertiser is responsible for the content.

© 2015-2019 Ukrinform. All rights reserved.

Website design Studio Laconica

Extended searchHide extended search
By period: