Russia reiterates refusal to return Crimea to Ukraine

Russian spokespersons rejected a call by the White House press secretary for Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine. 

Russian spokespersons rejected any thought of returning the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, to Ukraine.

“We don’t give back our own territory,” said Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. “Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation.”

Spokesman for Russia’s Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, echoed Zakharova’s statement. “The theme of returning Crimea will not be discussed,” he stressed. “Russia does not discuss its territorial integrity with foreign partners.”

Both officials were responding to remarks made on Tuesday by President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

“President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea,” Spicer said. “(Trump) continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration had allowed to be seized by Russia.”

Spicer also referred to Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s first address at the UN Security Council in which she criticized Russia for an increase in fighting between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatist factions in eastern Ukraine.

The US “Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stood before the UN.Security Council on her first day and strongly denounced the Russian occupation of Crimea,” noted Spicer.

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By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News