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Crimean Authorities Hope Trump Will Recognize Their Republic

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has been asked to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. AP

Crimean authorities hope that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

"Trump is consistent and persistent – there's no way he would change his position 180 degrees," Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Muradov told the radio station Sputnik in the Crimea. 

"They can correct him, they can bring him something the establishment demands, but he will not back down from his general line."

Muradov claimed to know Trump very well. 

"We worked with him when I was in the Moscow build Trump Tower in Moscow, but unfortunately we didn't succeed and it didn't work out," he said. 

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014 after a revolution toppled pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The United States consider the Crimean annexation illegitimate. 

During the U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump told an interviewer that he would "take a look at" the issue of recognizing Crimea as part of Russia. However, he later walked his comments back when pressed for clarification, blaming Obama for the Russian presence in Ukraine.

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