Crimea is Ukraine / Photo from UNIAN

The United States Department of State has called the "referendum" conducted by Russia in Ukraine's Crimea five years ago "a farce."

"Russia's so-called 'referendum' at the barrel of a gun in Crimea five years ago was a farce rightfully condemned by the international community. Crimea is Ukraine," Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State tweeted on Saturday, March 16.

As UNIAN reported earlier, United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said the United States firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

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.