Out of Question: ‘Crimea Cannot Be Subject of Bargaining Between Russia and US’

Russia (Sputnik) – Following the claim that US President Trump is expecting Moscow to return Crimea to Kiev, a Russian lawmaker said that the peninsula is an integral part of Russia and cannot be “subject of bargaining” between Russia and the United States.

Crimea is and will always be part of Russia, the issue is not negotiable under any circumstances, Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump expects Russia to de-escalate the situation in Donbass and return Crimea to Ukraine.

Hogweard - Relief map of the Black Sea.svg, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31685227

Black Sea with Crimea highlighted – By Hogweard derivative work: Wikimedia Commons

“The issue of Crimea return is absolutely clear — it is part of Russia and it cannot be subject of bargaining between Russia and the United States, no matter what is at stake,” Ozerov stressed.

The lawmaker added that the demand to return Crimea could be compared to Russia demanding from the US to return Alaska, “which is absolutely impossible.”

Ozerov suggested that Spicer’s statement could have been an attempt to defuse the tension around Trump and to signal to the US establishment that the president was not as lenient toward Russia as he might seem to be.

On Monday, Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn announced his decision to resign amid the growing controversy over the leaks to the media about the contents of his conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in December 2016.

This report prepared by Sputnik.