RFE/RL: White House says U.S. still rejects Russia's annexation of Crimea

10:42, 03 July 2018
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Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on July 2 that the U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow following the 2014 annexation would remain until Moscow reversed its decision, RFE/RL wrote.

"We do not recognize Russia's attempt to annex Crimea," Sanders said. "We agree to disagree and the sanctions against Russia remain in place until Russia returns the peninsula to the Ukraine."

Read alsoBolton says he discussed Russia's annexation of Crimea with Putin in Moscow

Sanders' remarks contrast with those of national security adviser John Bolton, who a day earlier suggested that Trump may eventually acknowledge Russia's seizure.

Both comments come as the White House prepares for a major meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, set for Helsinki on July 16.

Trump has repeatedly voiced support for a more conciliatory approach toward Moscow, which has stated that the Black Sea peninsula is now a full part of the Russian Federation.

On June 29, Trump was asked by reporters whether he planned to drop opposition to the annexation

"We're going to have to see," he said.

News reports have cited European leaders as saying that Trump argued privately at a recent Group of Seven summit that Crimea should be part of Russia because, he said, most of the people there speak Russian as their primary language.

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