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    Crimea's Rejoining Russia Corrects USSR-Era Mistake - Hofer

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    The March 2014 referendum in Crimea resulting in the peninsula's reunification with Russia corrected a mistake by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev regarding the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, Austria's presidential candidate Norbert Hofer told Sputnik, saying he had always considered the peninsula to be Russia's territory.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) — The transfer of the peninsula to Ukraine took place in 1954.

    "If I look back, Khrushchev had made a mistake quite a number of years back and as far as I [am] concerned, the Crimean peninsula is the Russian territory, it is a part of Russia and it would be curious to see if other politicians in Austria would also have the courage to voice their opinion on this issue as I do," Hofer, who is participating Austria's presidential elections rerun in December, said.

    He added he supported the idea of people deciding themselves the future of their region.

    Hofer is not the only Western politician who has expressed his readiness to recognize Crimea as the Russian territory.

    In late September, France’s National Front (FN) party leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told Sputnik that she would recognize Crimea as Russia's region, if elected.

    Following the 2014 referendum, Crimea rejoined Russia, as over 96 percent of the local population backed the move after a coup in Kiev in February that year. Kiev and the West did not recognize the move and consider the peninsula an occupied territory.


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