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U.S. Department of State demands Russia to get out of Crimea

Russia must leave Crimea, abandon the so-called "referendum" and return the control over the sovereign Ukrainian territory to the Ukrainian government. It was stated by Daniel Baer, the U.S. Representative to OSCE, at the meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna.

U.S. Department of State demands Russia to get out of Crimea

Baer underlined that the sanctions associated with Crimea, would remain in force as long as the occupation continued, Joinfo.ua reports.

In his report, the U.S. Representative notes that Crimea still remains an integral part of Ukraine, despite the Russian occupation. "If there were any doubts about what happened in Crimea a year ago, President Putin himself dispelled them: in a month after the so-called "referendum" President Putin confirmed that the mysterious soldiers were actually the Russian soldiers executing his orders. And after claiming that Russia annexed Crimea in response to the so-called "referendum", President Putin easily tossed aside the excuse and told the world that in fact he started the plan of annexation of Crimea on February 22, the day after the former President Yanukovych fled from Kyiv," said Baer.

He said that the occupants imposed Russian citizenship to the Ukrainians living in Crimea, used Russian repressive laws restricting freedom of peaceful assembly, association, religion, and expression.

"Russian occupation authorities were hiding behind the "legal process" to steal the Crimean people, who are citizens of Ukraine, such as Oleg Sentsov, and judge them in the Russian courts," said Baer.

"These violent actions are unacceptable, and we call on Russia to stop further violations. Russia must allow international observers – including the OSCE observers – to come to Crimea to provide the rest of the world with more accurate information about the situation in the region," said the diplomat.