Russia Blasts U.S. Rejection of Crimean Annexation

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Russia’s Embassy in Washington has accused U.S. officials of “living in a different reality” after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated America’s rejection of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

Pompeo on had issued a statement Wednesday calling on Russia “to end its occupation of Crimea.” The declaration appeared to try to quell suggestions that Washington could accept Moscow's 2014 occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula following a U.S.-Russia presidential summit last week.

“The State Department makes declarations and statements on Crimea quarterly. We heard nothing new,” the Russian embassy said in a statement on Facebook. “Just more proof that our partners live in a different reality.”

The “Crimea Declaration,” as some media have dubbed Pompeo’s statement, followed ambiguous comments about the fate of the peninsula attributed to U.S. President Donald Trump after his meeting with President Vladimir Putin last week.

"The United States rejects Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored," Pompeo said in the statement, promising senators not to lift sanctions against Russia until it relinquishes Crimea.

Russia’s embassy pointed to the “hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who choose to go on holiday to Crimea, which debunks the myth of Russian ‘occupation’ and ‘aggression.’”

The statement went on to say that Crimea had joined Russia based on “the right of a people to self-determination.”

“We await the State Department’s declaration that Kosovo is Serbia,” the embassy noted in a tongue-in-cheek concluding comment.

Reuters contributed reporting.

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