Category: Foreign Policy

Collected Department Releases: The United States Sanctions Venezuela’s State-affiliated Bank

Collected Department Releases: The United States Sanctions Venezuela’s State-affiliated Bank

Press Statement Robert Palladino Deputy Spokesperson Washington, DC March 22, 2019 Today, the United States sanctioned the Venezuelan Economic and Social Development Bank (BANDES) and five subsidiaries (Banco Bandes Uruguay S.A., Banco de Venezuela S.A., Banco Universal, Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo, and Banco Prodem S.A.). In addition, the U.S. government today determined that persons operating in Venezuela’s financial sector could be subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13850. This action targets a financial institution that the former Maduro regime uses to move money stolen from the Venezuelan people outside of Venezuela. The former Maduro regime continues its attack on democracy in Venezuela. This action is…

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Collected Department Releases: Secretary Pompeo’s Call With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Collected Department Releases: Secretary Pompeo’s Call With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 22, 2019 The below is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino:‎ Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. They discussed plans for the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers to be held April 3-4 in Washington, DC where Allies will mark the 70th anniversary of NATO’s founding and take stock of the Alliance’s efforts to address the full range of challenges facing the Alliance. They also discussed the Secretary General’s planned address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress and the value of that event in highlighting the enduring transatlantic…

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Collected Department Releases: Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Joseph Aoun

Collected Department Releases: Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Joseph Aoun

Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 23, 2019 The below is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino: Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Joseph Aoun, in Beirut. They discussed the importance of the U.S.-Lebanese security partnership and how the United States can further support the Lebanese Armed Forces. The Secretary also raised U.S. concerns about the destabilizing role of Hizballah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, within Lebanon and throughout the region, and the U.S. commitment to bilateral counterterrorism, counter smuggling, and border control cooperation. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public…

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Collected Department Releases: Interview With Alain Dargham of MTV

Collected Department Releases: Interview With Alain Dargham of MTV

Interview Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State U.S. Embassy Beirut, Lebanon March 23, 2019 QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, Mike Pompeo, thank you so much for your time and good to see you. SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s great to be with you. Yes. QUESTION: Thank you. Let’s start with your tough speech yesterday. You mentioned the Lebanese people should be brave and stand up against Hizballah. What can they do to face this strong group? Is Washington willing to go further steps to help if they do so? SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, the good news is that my meetings here have shown that the Lebanese people are prepared to…

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NATO’s operation in Yugoslavia launched under fake pretext – Russia’s EU envoy

NATO’s operation in Yugoslavia launched under fake pretext – Russia’s EU envoy

BRUSSELS, March 24. /TASS/. NATO started its war in Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999 without the UN Security Council’s backing under pretext of a staged incident in the Racak village, which was described by international media as the mass killing of Albanians by the Serbian military, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told TASS. “This was a pure provocation, which was just used as a pretext to start the bombings,” said Chizhov, who took part in Russia’s diplomatic efforts to settle the crisis. According to him, the bodies of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s fighters, who had died earlier, were disguised as those…

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US, EU want to hide information on real situation in Crimea – diplomat

US, EU want to hide information on real situation in Crimea – diplomat

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. The West is doing its utmost to conceal information about the real situation in Crimea from the rest of the world because it is afraid that the peninsula will be recognized as Russia’s territory, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page on Sunday. Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the situation with recognizing Crimea as part of Russia differed from acknowledging Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. According to him, what US President Donald Trump did is to “recognize the reality on the ground.” Pompeo stressed that Washington seeks to work on Middle East…

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West failed to learn lessons of Yugoslavia tragedy, Russia’s NATO mission says

West failed to learn lessons of Yugoslavia tragedy, Russia’s NATO mission says

BRUSSELS, March 24. /TASS/. Western states did not learn the lessons of the Yugoslavia tragedy 20 years ago when the country was targeted by NATO bombings, Russia’s permanent mission to NATO told reporters on Sunday. “March 24 is certainly a tragic date in Europe’s modern history. This day exactly 20 years ago a temptation prevailed to solve challenging and very sensitive inter-ethnic and inter-religious problems in Yugoslavia not by meticulous diplomatic efforts, but by simple and quick methods of ‘military surgery’ bypassing international law and without the permission of the United Nations’ Security Council,” the permanent mission said. “Then as a result of bombings and…

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Collected Department Releases: Consultations With the European Union on the Afghan Peace Process

Collected Department Releases: Consultations With the European Union on the Afghan Peace Process

Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 22, 2019 U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Roland Kobia met in Washington, D.C., for consultations on the Afghan peace process, on March 21-22, 2019. They agreed that bringing an end to Afghanistan’s war and achieving peace must be the key objective, and that violence should cease. To benefit all Afghans, the region, and the world, they further underscored that any peace agreement should uphold the rights of all Afghans, in particular those of women, minorities, and children, and ensure Afghan soil is not used by…

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Collected Department Releases: Consultations With China and Russia on the Afghan Peace Process

Collected Department Releases: Consultations With China and Russia on the Afghan Peace Process

Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 22, 2019 Representatives of the United States, China, and Russia met in Washington, D.C., March 21-22, 2019. The parties exchanged views on the current status of the Afghan peace process and discussed common efforts to bring peace, prosperity, and security to Afghanistan. They underscored their respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, as well as Afghanistan’s right to make its own political, security, and economic decisions. The United States, China, and Russia agreed to continue further discussions. The exact date and venue for the next meeting will be decided through diplomatic channels. The…

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Russian deputy foreign minister discusses arms control with prominent French scholar

Russian deputy foreign minister discusses arms control with prominent French scholar

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has met with Executive Chairman of the French Institute of International Relations Thierry de Montbrial to discuss arms control, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “The sides exchanged detailed opinions on pressing issues on the international agenda, in particular, on the topic of arms control,” the foreign ministry said. On the same day, Ryabkov met with US students. “They discussed the current condition and prospects for developing Russian-US relations, the issue of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and arms control, some other relevant international issues,” the foreign ministry said. “The Russian side confirmed…

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Russian deputy foreign minister discusses non-proliferation with senior Japanese diplomat

Russian deputy foreign minister discusses non-proliferation with senior Japanese diplomat

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russian Deptuty Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has discussed with his Japanese counterpart Takeo Mori non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and global security, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “The sides exchanged opinions on pressing issues of global and regional security, including WMD non-proliferation and arms control, and tackling new threats and challenges,” the foreign ministry said. In other media

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Russian deputy foreign minister discusses bilateral relations with Israeli ambassador

Russian deputy foreign minister discusses bilateral relations with Israeli ambassador

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has discussed with Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow Harry Karen bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “They exchanged opinions on pressing regional issues, including Syrian settlement and Palestinian-Israeli issue,” the foreign ministry said. “They also touched upon some practical aspects of Russian-Israeli multifaceted ties,” the ministry added. The meeting was held in Moscow at the request of the Israeli diplomat. In other media

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Russia alarmed by US plans to test interceptor missile

Russia alarmed by US plans to test interceptor missile

The Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow © Valery Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russia is concerned over reports about Washington’s plans to test the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. The ministry notes that US media reports citing anonymous Pentagon representatives said that the US military planned to test this interceptor missile in 2020. “These plans cannot but concern us, the reports on the planned tests of SM-3 Block IIA to intercept ICBM once again confirm that Washington’s statement that the US global missile defense system is ‘not directed’ against Russia…

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Collected Department Releases: Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Dinner

Collected Department Releases: Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Dinner

Remarks Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Residence Jerusalem March 21, 2019 PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Secretary Pompeo, Mike, Susan, Ambassador David Friedman, I’m so excited. And we’re so excited, Sara and I, to have you here, but especially on this evening. This is the eve of Purim, and we have a miracle of Purim. We call it nes Purim. President Trump has just made history. I called him. I thanked him on behalf of the people of Israel. He did it again. First he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. embassy here. Then he pulled out of the disastrous…

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Collected Department Releases: Interview With Chris Mitchell and David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network

Collected Department Releases: Interview With Chris Mitchell and David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network

Interview Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State David Citadel Hotel Jerusalem March 21, 2019 QUESTION:  Secretary Pompeo, thanks for doing this.  Appreciate it. SECRETARY POMPEO:  It’s great to be with you.  Great to be with you both. QUESTION:  The Western Wall – was there with you.  What was that experience like and how impactful was something like that? SECRETARY POMPEO:  So I’ve been there before, but this was incredibly special.  To be there with the Israeli prime minister and ambassador from the United States to Israel was really an important moment.  It was special for me as a Christian.  It was special I think to…

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Putin, Merkel invited to attend Petersburg Dialogue forum — paper

Putin, Merkel invited to attend Petersburg Dialogue forum — paper

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel at the 12th St Petersburg Dialogue Forum in Moscow in 2012 © ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin BERLIN, March 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were invited to attend this year’s Petersburg Dialogue forum due on July 18-20 in Germany’s Petersberg, a municipality near Bonn, the General-Anzeiger Bonn newspaper reported, citing own sources. According to the paper, the attendance of the two leaders may serve as a starting point for a new period of Russian-German relations, because Putin and Merkel did not attend the forum’s sessions since Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014. General-Anzeiger Bonn…

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Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia particularly important after Hanoi summit failure — expert

Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia particularly important after Hanoi summit failure — expert

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia has become particularly important following the failure of the US-North Korean summit in Hanoi late last month, a Russian expert familiar with details of diplomatic contacts between Moscow and Pyongyang said on Thursday. “Generally speaking, [Kim Jong Un’s] visit is now more important than before due to the failure of the Hanoi summit and of Russia’s increasing role as a peacemaker for all sides and an advisor on ways to overcome the current impasse,” said Georgy Toloraya, who heads the East Asia center at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy…

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Collected Department Releases: Resignation of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

Collected Department Releases: Resignation of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

Press Statement Robert Palladino Deputy Spokesperson Washington, DC March 21, 2019 The United States deeply values the contributions of Kazakhstan’s first President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in establishing and promoting enduring, dynamic relations between the United States and Kazakhstan. At this historic moment in Kazakhstan, we salute Nazarbayev’s role as the father of today’s modern, sovereign, and prosperous Kazakhstan, and acknowledge the example he sets for responsible regional and global leadership. We once again applaud his significant efforts in the nonproliferation sphere, his leadership in global denuclearization efforts, his exemplary commitment to the peaceful transition of power, and his contributions to peace and prosperity in Kazakhstan and the…

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Collected Department Releases: Interview With Andrew Yates of Bott Radio Network

Collected Department Releases: Interview With Andrew Yates of Bott Radio Network

Interview Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Via Teleconference March 18, 2019 QUESTION: Good afternoon – or good morning, rather, Secretary of State Pompeo. This is Andrew Yates at Bott Radio Network. SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, Andrew. How are you? QUESTION: I’m very well, sir. What a pleasure to get to speak with you. I understand you’re in the state of Kansas today to support entrepreneurship in the United States. SECRETARY POMPEO: I am. I’m here leading a State Department team that – we’ll be speaking to entrepreneurs here in Kansas, innovators, creators, manufacturers who want to do business around the world or who want…

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Moscow, Beijing urge to stamp out terrorism in Syria — Russia’s foreign ministry

Moscow, Beijing urge to stamp out terrorism in Syria — Russia’s foreign ministry

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russian Presidential Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov focused on the urgency of total eradication of terrorism in Syria at his talks with China’s Special Envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. They “reaffirmed Russia and China’s invariable support to the efforts to find a speedy solution to the Syrian crisis based on Resolution 2254 of the United Nations Security Council. In this context, [the two diplomats] underscored that the terrorist presence on Syrian soil needs to be totally eradicated, and that international assistance is needed for the process of refugees’ return and…

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Russian ambassador confirms preparations underway for Austrian president’s visit to Moscow

Russian ambassador confirms preparations underway for Austrian president’s visit to Moscow

VIENNA, March 20. /TASS/. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen’s visit to Russia is in the works and might take place in the coming months, Russia’s Ambassador in Vienna Dmitry Lyubinsky told TASS on Wednesday. “I can confirm that preparations for the Austrian president’s visit to Russia are actively underway. It is still premature to announce the dates but [we] mean a span of a few months,” Lyubinsky said, when asked to comment on reports about a possible visit of Austria’s president to Russia. Earlier, an Austrian source told TASS that Van der Bellen is likely to visit Russia this May.   Flourishing relations The…

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Collected Department Releases: Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah

Collected Department Releases: Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah

Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC March 20, 2019 The below is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino: Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah in Kuwait. The Secretary thanked the Amir for his longtime partnership with the United States and his positive engagement on many regional issues, including the GCC dispute, Syria, and Yemen. The Secretary and the Amir agreed that a united GCC is critical to ensuring the success of the alliance in advancing prosperity, security, and stability in the region, and standing against the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activity. The Secretary thanked the…

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Collected Department Releases: Regarding Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe

Collected Department Releases: Regarding Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe

Press Statement Robert Palladino Deputy Spokesperson Washington, DC March 20, 2019 The United States offers its heartfelt sympathies to those in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe affected by Cyclone Idai and other recent flooding in southern Africa, in particular those who were injured and those who have lost loved ones. In coordination with our partners, the United States is providing support to the relief efforts. Our embassies in each of these countries stand ready to provide consular services to any U.S. citizens who may have been affected. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S.…

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Collected Department Releases: Interview With Jace Mills of KSNT NBC News

Collected Department Releases: Interview With Jace Mills of KSNT NBC News

Interview Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza Kansas City, Missouri March 18, 2019 QUESTION: Tell me what it’s like to be back in Kansas. I mean, this is your first stop back since becoming Secretary of State. SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s great fun to be home. It feels great. Susan and I are having a good time. We had a chance to talk to some friends yesterday. We’ll get a little bit more chance to do that today as well. But importantly, we’re here to help Kansas businesses, Kansas entrepreneurs, and that’s something that’s near and dear to my heart…

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Collected Department Releases: Interview With Jake Bowles of KFDI News

Collected Department Releases: Interview With Jake Bowles of KFDI News

Interview Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Via Teleconference March 18, 2019 QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. Secretary. This is Jake Bowles with KFDI News in Wichita. SECRETARY POMPEO: Hey, Jake. Good to talk to you again. QUESTION: You too. Tell me what brings you back to Kansas today. SECRETARY POMPEO: So, here for a State Department-led global seminar on entrepreneurship. The State Department’s first client is the American people, and one of the things we do is help businesses all around America, and I wanted to come to the heartland and spread this message too. It helps businesses around America attract investors from overseas and…

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Russian and US diplomats to hold consultations on Venezuela in Rome

Russian and US diplomats to hold consultations on Venezuela in Rome

ROME, March 19. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov will hold consultations in Rome with US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams on the situation in the Latin American country. These talks will be the first consultations between Moscow and Washington on this issue. The United States recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, while Russia supports the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who severed diplomatic relations with the US. When the US proposed holding bilateral talks on Venezuela, Moscow confirmed readiness to start consultations only if principles of the UN Charter are observed. Ryabkov told TASS that he will warn Washington’s…

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Lavrov to hold talks with Algerian deputy prime minister on March 19

Lavrov to hold talks with Algerian deputy prime minister on March 19

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with Algerian Deputy Prime Minister Ramtane Lamamra in Moscow on Tuesday. The sides will discuss bilateral relations, trade and economic and military-technical cooperation, as well as the situation in Algeria and in the region as a whole. Lavrov visited Algeria in January when he met with then-Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and then-Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel. “Our countries are united by adherence to the peaceful settlement of conflicts, non-interference into internal affairs of other states, ensuring stability and balance of interests in international affairs while preserving UN’s main role, respecting norms and principles of…

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Russian Foreign Ministry slams West’s sanctions over Kerch Strait incident

Russian Foreign Ministry slams West’s sanctions over Kerch Strait incident

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed indignation at the Western sanctions imposed on Russian citizens over the Kerch Strait incident. “An attempt was made once again to score political points by means of the November 2018 Kerch Strait incident provoked by Ukraine. The EU made an outrageous decision a few days ago, blacklisting a number of Russian citizens, including our border guards who took part in the operation to foil the Ukrainian provocation,” the ministry said in a commentary posted on its website on Monday. The European Union’s and NATO’s support for the Ukrainian version of the incident is fueling militaristic…

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Many in EU regret that visa-free travel talks with Russia failed — Russian diplomat

Many in EU regret that visa-free travel talks with Russia failed — Russian diplomat

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko © Sergei Bobylev/TASS MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Many in the European Union are disappointed with the fact that the talks on visa-free travel with Russia have failed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told the International Affairs magazine. “We are essentially ready to go as far in regards to the visa liberalization issue and easing visa requirements as the European Union is. One of the European Union’s strategic mistakes was that at some point they were afraid that visa-free travel would be introduced in Russia,” Grushko said. “I know that now many in Europe find that regrettable, because it would…

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EU should stop “politicking” around Crimea — Russian Foreign Ministry

EU should stop “politicking” around Crimea — Russian Foreign Ministry

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. The European Union and NATO should stop “politicking” around Crimea and need to listen to the peninsula’s residents instead, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. On March 17 EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU will continue the policy of not recognizing Crimea as part of Russia. “We would want the EU and NATO to stop politicking and to start listening to Crimeans. It is time to recognize the democratic choice made by people of Crimea and Sevastopol, and to note positive changes in their lives as part of Russia, as this was already done…

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