REUTERS

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said Russia illegally annexed Crimea in March 2014 as competition between great powers.

Read alsoRussia has no right to veto Ukraine's movement toward NATO – Stoltenberg

"The first [challenge] is increased competition between great powers, great power competition. And we see the consequences of that from Crimea, the illegal annexation of Crimea, to North Korea, from Syria to the South China Sea," he said at the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand on August 5, 2019.

According to Stoltenberg, the illegal annexation of Crimea is "the first time in Europe that one country has taken a part of another country since the end of the Second World War."

He also noted Russia's increased presence in other countries and regions, in particular, in the Middle East.

As UNIAN reported earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Crimea, currently occupied by the Russian Federation, must come back to Ukraine.