Lavrov Says Crimea Russia's Territory, No Negotiations Possible
MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday the Crimean peninsula is Russia's territory, rejecting any possibility for any talks on its status.
'I think that you understand that your second question is clear and an answer to that was given long ago: Crimea is part of the Russian Federation,' Lavrov said during a briefing while answering a journalist's question.
Lavrov added that 'there have been no negotiations with anyone on Crimea, there are none now and there won't be any.'
Over the weekend, the European Union extended sanctions against another 15 Russian officials, as well as representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics. Sanctions were also imposed against a number of Crimean entities.
EU member states are also expected to agree on further sanctions against Crimea as part of their strategy of nonrecognition of the former Ukrainian territory as part of Russia.
The EU said earlier it believes that officials and entities targeted by the sanctions are responsible for threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity. Moscow has repeatedly called the language of sanctions counterproductive.
Crimea refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that seized power as a result of a coup in February and rejoined Russia after a referendum held in March, with 96 percent of voters in the region backing the motion.
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