Russia | Crimea recognized as “Russian territory” by President Lukashenko
Defence Redefined
Published on 04/12/2021 at 14:30

The Kremlin has no doubt that at the appropriate time the presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, will visit Crimea together, said a spokesman for Russian leader Dmitry Peshkov, shedding light on the importance of Lukashenko’s recognition of the peninsula as “Russian territory”. “Obviously it is not the best time for such trips to Crimea,” said Peskov, adding that, “I have no doubt that at the right time the two presidents will agree and visit Crimea,” even though no particular city on the peninsula is currently being considered, but a general journey instead.

“Obviously, a very important statement was made by President Lukashenko that, in the view of the Belarusian side, Crimea is de facto and de jure Russian,” the Kremlin spokesman said, referring to the Belarusian president’s statement in an extensive interview on Russian state television, where he claimed that “everyone understood that Crimea is de facto Russian and after the 2014 referendum it also became de jure Russian,” and added that he has no disagreement with V. Putin, from whom he has asked three times to “guide” him to the peninsula, while they have also already jointly agreed that they will make this trip in due time.

Reacting to Lukashenko’s statements, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said his country would evaluate Lukashenko’s actions, not his words, and “if Belarus recognizes Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, it will significantly impair the Ukraine-Belarus relations, and we will proceed with a generalized reaction,” according to the Ukrinform agency.

Also read: The EU and NATO condemn the instrumentalization of immigration from Belarus

Taking another step towards a rift with Ukraine, the Belarusian president said he would “support Moscow in the event of a Ukrainian attack” and that he would be “in close economic, legal and political relations with Russia,” claiming that he would never support the “nationalists who took power in Kiev”. Furthermore, he stated that he will do everything “so that Ukraine becomes ours because Ukraine is ours, the people there are ours,” without specifying who he refers to exactly or what he means when he uses possessive pronouns, stating that “these are not emotions, but my firm belief”.

Belarus does not need to pass any special laws recognizing Crimea as “Russian”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, commenting with applause on the Belarusian President’s remarks.

The declaration of Crimea as Russian territory based on the referendum of March 2014 and the 96.77% of voters who voted, according to the Russian administration, in favor of this prospect, is not recognized by the majority of countries or all international organizations, while it is denounced as a Russian attack by Kiev, which considers the Crimean peninsula a temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.

Source: AMNA

Also read: Ukraine | The United States announce additional military aid worth 150 million dollars




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