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    Brussels to Keep Denying Crimean Self-Determination Until Trump Says Otherwise

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    The EU, in its refusal to recognize the decision of the Crimean people to join Russia, is ignoring history and the role of the US is provoking a coup against the Ukrainian government, German CDU politician Willy Wimmer told Sputnik.

    On a visit to Crimea, former Vice-President of the OSCE Assembly Willy Wimmer, a Bundestag deputy who has also served as defense spokesman for Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and parliamentary state secretary to the German Defense Ministry, told Sputnik Deutschland that the Crimean people's decision to join Russia was a reaction to the "putsch" that took place in Kiev in February 2014.

    "You have to look at things clear-headed: if there hadn't been a putsch in Kiev, if Kiev hadn't tried to deprive the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine of their legitimate rights, then events would not have developed in this way. Therefore, the way events developed was a consequence of the actions of those who prepared and carried out the putsch in Kiev, which in any case was not the Russian Federation."

    On Monday, EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

    At a press conference, Mogherini referred to the events of March 2014, when the Crimean parliament held a referendum on joining the Russian Federation following the seizure of power in Kiev by right-wing Ukrainian nationalists.

    In the referendum, over 95 percent of voters in Crimea and Sevastopol voted to join Russia, with 83 percent of those eligible casting their vote.

    However, according to Mogherini, Crimea's move was an "annexation," which the EU refuses to recognize.

    Wimmer told Sputnik that the EU's position is "political stupidity" that fails to recognize Crimeans' right to self-determination and "doesn't take historical facts into account."

    "What Ms. Mogherini is saying doesn't bear any relationship to what really happened. This is political stupidity, you can't call it anything else because the forces that provoked this putsch are the same forces with which Ms. Mogherini and Brussels have a special connection," Wimmer said.

    "The people of Crimea took up their right to self-determination. They chose a course which they had not been allowed to take in previous referendums that were held in Crimea after 1990. So, considering all this, Ms. Mogherini and also German Chancellor Merkel, who is going to visit Russia in a few days' time, should take responsibility for the development of events in Crimea."

    "As far as sanctions and other similar actions are concerned, these should be removed as soon as possible because they are responsible for the way events in Crimea developed."

    Support across the EU for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions has been widespread among exporters of food and machinery (who were affected by counter-sanctions), as well as popular political parties such as France's National Front and Italy's Northern League. However, Mogherini indicated that Brussels wants to keep them in place.

    However, Wimmer said that the EU may lift its sanctions if the Trump administration decides to do so.

    "The political reality is well-known. Brussels and the national (European) states don't know for sure what future US policy will be like. Regarding sanctions, we should be clear: these sanctions only happened because the people in Washington who are responsible for the coup in Ukraine — Joe Biden said so publicly – then went and twisted the arms of the Europeans to impose these sanctions."

    "With sanctions and the European sanctions politics, the Americans resolved several tasks at once: they presented Ukraine with a fait accompli. They are responsible for the Ukraine's loss of control over Crimea and after that they got Europe to implement sanctions and put Europe in a difficult position. The situation now is that in Europe, everyone is looking at Trump very attentively, because they don't want to act without his agreement," Wimmer said.

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    Crimean reunification, referendum, Germany, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
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