Crimea has turned into one of the most dynamic Russian regions despite the sanctions pressure and the shameful blockade by Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to Berlin Sergey Nechayev wrote in an article published by Berliner Zeitung newspaper on occasion of the seventh anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia.
"As part of Russia, the peninsula gained a powerful development impetus. It is open to interaction and exchanges with foreign partners," the diplomat noted. Nechayev believes that "time has come to recognize the legitimate and democratic choice of the Crimean people, respect their rights and interests, as well as the status of this Russian region." He also called for "shaping an unbiased impression on the peninsula based on personal experience, trips to the region and contacts with local citizens."
"Despite the challenging legacy of the past decades, when the peninsula was practically left to itself, today Crimea has turned into one of the most dynamic regions of Russia. The sanctions pressure could not prevent this," Nechayev stated, TASS reports.
He recalled that in 2014 the Crimean citizens fulfilled their right to self-determination enshrined in the United Nations Charter and clearly decided to link their future with Russia, and the root cause of the domestic Ukrainian conflict and further issues was the coup d’etat "carried out with the political and financial support of some Western states."
"Its goal is to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine, destroy their ties and bind Kiev to Euro-Atlantic structures and make it obediently fulfill someone’s will and of late, unfortunately, this happens more often," the diplomat said. The Crimeans’ choice to rejoin Russia made it possible to preserve peace, he stressed.
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.