Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministery spokeswomen, in a weekly news briefing on a current foreign policy issue recoiled on White House’ statement that Trump expects Russia to return Ukraine by saying that there is no way will Crimea be given back.
Zakharova said, “We don’t return our territories. Crimea is a territory of the Russian Federation.That is all.”
“The issue of Crimea return is absolutely clear — it is part of Russia and it cannot be the subject of bargaining between Russia and the United States, no matter what is at stake.”
U.S. President Donald J. Trump, during his election campaign, vowed to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. But following the resignation of Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, he seems to have walked back. He tweeted Yesterday that Crimea was ‘taken’ by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia? This shows that Trump is weak and can easily be pressured.
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Chairman of the Defense Committee in the Russian upper house of parliament Viktor Ozerov stated, “The issue of Crimea return is absolutely clear — it is part of Russia and it cannot be the subject of bargaining between Russia and the United States, no matter what is at stake.” He said that to Sputnik Internation following the statement of White House spokesman Sean Spicer, on January 14th, that “President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.”
Back in 18th century, Crimea became part of Russian Empire. Under Nikita Khrushchev, in 1954, Crimea was reassigned to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. But in 2014 referendum 97 percent of Crimea’s population voted in favor to rejoin Russia so both territories got unified.
The last national census conducted back in 2001, revealed that 58 percent of the population living in Crimea is ethnic Russian. While Ukrainians are 24 percent and Crimean Tatars are 12 percent of the total population.