03:34 GMT +317 October 2019
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    A girl with Russian national flags painted on her cheeks takes part in celebrations marking the one-year anniversary of Crimea voting to leave Ukraine, in central Simferopol March 16, 2015.

    Tillerson: US Should Have Given Ukraine Weapons, Provided Air Surveillance

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    Washington should have helped Kiev in a military response when Crimeans voted to rejoin with Russia, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States should have assisted Ukraine in a military response when the disagreement over Crimea rejoining Russia began, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said in his confirmation hearing at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

    "I would have recommended that the Ukraine take all of its military assets it had available, put them on that eastern border, provide those assets with defensive weapons that are necessary just to defend themselves," Tillerson stated.

    Tillerson noted he would have also announced that the United States was going to "provide them intelligence and that there either NATO or United States will provide air surveillance over that border to monitor any movements."

    Russia has no legal rights to Crimea, Tillerson said.

    "No, sir, that was a taking of territory that was not theirs," Tillerson stated when asked if he believed Russia had a legal claim to Crimea after the latter rejoined the former via popular referendum in March 2014.

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