Russia won't negotiate Crimea's return with anyone – Lavrov
Russia is in talks with no one on Crimea's returning back to Ukraine as Crimea is a Russian territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, according to Russian news agency TASS.
"There is nothing to return, we are in talks with no one on Crimea's return. Crimea is Russian territory in full conformity with the expression of will of Crimea's peoples," he said at a news conference dedicated to the results of 2015, TASS wrote.
"It was the expression of will of all of them, including those who had had no rights under the Ukrainian authorities and who had been granted their rights, including the state language, when Crimea reunified with Russia after a referendum, the results of which are well-known," he said.
"And as for Crimea, probably it will be better not to judge the situation based on hearsay but to go there to see," the Russian foreign minister said, adding that many journalists and a number of European politicians had already visited Crimea. "It's better to see everything with your own eyes."
UNIAN memo. Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in March 2014 after its troops invaded the peninsula, and then began to destabilize the situation in Donbas. Later, the self-proclaimed "Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics" (DPR and LPR) were created, with the direct participation of Russian special forces and the support of Russian army in Donbas, according to Ukraine officials.
The European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and several other countries imposed sanctions against Russia because of its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine.