Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is grateful to U.S. President Joe Biden for his stance on Ukraine's Crimea.
"Grateful to Joe Biden for a strong message: Crimea is Ukraine! That's what a real strategic partnership is for," Zelensky tweeted on February 26.
"Ukrainians highly value the U.S. support: from territorial integrity to strengthening defense capabilities & implementing reforms. United we stand – divided we fall," he said.
Biden earlier announced that the United States does not and will never recognize Russia's purported annexation of the peninsula. "We will stand with Ukraine against Russia's aggressive acts. We will continue to work to hold Russia accountable for its abuses and aggression in Ukraine," the U.S. leader said in a statement.
Occupation of Crimea by Russia
- Ukraine on February 26 marks the Day of Resistance to Russia's Occupation of Crimea. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the liberation of the peninsula is a joint task for the international community, which is to get united around the Crimean Platform.
- Also, the Ukrainian leader signed a decree on measures aimed at ending the Russian occupation of Crimea and its reintegration into Ukraine.
- Russia occupied Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014 after its troops had seized the peninsula. An illegal referendum was held amid the aggressive takeover on the issue of the peninsula's accession to Russia. De-facto Crimean authorities claimed that 96.77% of the Crimean population had allegedly supported the move.
- On March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation was signed off in the Kremlin.
- Western powers never recognized the seizure of Crimea and imposed sanctions on Russia over aggression against Ukraine.