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Opponents of Crimea’s reunification with Russia do not care about people — Putin

MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Foreign opponents of Crimea’s reunification with Russia do not care about the interests of the peninsula’s residents and of Russia. Nor do they care about democracy, because they pursue their own geopolitical aims, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the customary yearend news conference on Thursday.

“There is a very odd situation: if somebody is to be believed that Crimea is occupied, then presumably the Crimeans and Crimea are victims of aggression. But why then are they being punished? But if they joined Russia, if they returned to Russia of their own free will, through a referendum, then it is a manifestation of democracy. But is there anybody against democracy? No answer. In the meantime, there can be only one answer: they do not care a bit about the interests of the Crimeans and of Russia or about democracy. They pursued their own geopolitical aims. This says it all.”

After the February 2014 government coup in Ukraine, the authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol held referendums on the issue of reunification with Russia. The voting took place on March 16, with turnouts exceeding 80%. Reunification with Russia was supported by 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol. On March 18, the Russian president signed a treaty on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. Russia’s Federal Assembly ratified the treaty on March 21. Despite the unequivocal outcome of the plebiscite Kiev has refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

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