Ex-Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst (2003-2006) / Photo from universe.byu.edu

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst (2003-2006) says that Russian-occupied Crimea may have the same future as "the Baltic States in the Soviet Union since 1940."

"I don't see Kyiv agree on compromise and trade Crimea with Moscow for peace in the east. And neither do I see Moscow be ready to give Crimea back this year, in 10 or 15 years. Therefore, they can decide to keep it as is. And the West will not recognize Russian jurisdiction – [Crimea] will be like the Baltic States in the Soviet Union since 1940," Herbst told Ukrainian TV Channel Pryamiy in an interview in Russian.

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UNIAN memo. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014 after its troops had occupied the peninsula. An illegal referendum was held for Crimeans to decide on accession to Russia. De-facto Crimean authorities reported that allegedly 96.77% of the Crimean population had voted for joining Russia. On March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia was signed in the Kremlin. The West did not recognize the annexation in response to which sanctions against Russia were introduced. Ukraine's parliament voted to designate February 20, 2014, as the official date when the temporary occupation of Crimea began.