Putin on Crimea: Russia has not annexed anything
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, insisting that the peninsula joined Russia following a coup d'état in Kyiv, according to Russian news agency RBC.
"Russia has not annexed anything. Everything that has happened in Crimea is the result of illegitimate actions by certain political forces in Ukraine who provoked a coup d'état," Putin said at the CIS summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in response to a comment by Ukrainian Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Mykola Doroshenko who voiced protest against Russia's CIS chairmanship in 2017 over the annexation of Crimea and support of Donbas militants.
Putin stressed that Crimea had joined Russia based on the expression of the will of the people living in this territory, RBC wrote.
Read alsoPoroshenko: Putin's statement about Crimea called delusions"This action is fully in accord with international law and the UN Charter, as well as with the corresponding decisions of UN courts on similar issues in the practice of the UN international court," Putin said.
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.