The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey has reiterated its non-recognition of Crimea annexation by the Russian Federation.
"Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation, in violation of international law, based on an illegitimate referendum held five years ago today (16 March)," the ministry said in a press release regarding the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea.
"On this occasion, we reiterate that we do not recognize the de-facto situation caused by this act and reaffirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," reads the report.
"The situation of the Crimean Tatar Turks, the indigenous people of Crimea, continues to be a priority for us. We will continue to support Crimean Tatars to live in peace and safely in their historic homeland, preserving their identity," the ministry added.
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.