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    Trump Expects Russia to 'Return Crimea' to Ukraine - White House

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    US President Donald Trump expects Russia to "return Crimea" to Ukraine, the White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

    "President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said at a daily news briefing. "At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to get along with Russia."

    Crimea rejoined Russia after a 2014 referendum, when almost 97 percent of the region's population voted for the reunification. Sevastopol, which has a federal city status, supported the move by 95.6 percent of votes.

    During the election campaign Trump claimed he would "consider" recognizing Crimea as part of Russia following the referendum in the peninsula, adding that the Crimeans wanted to live in Russia.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated establishing a political dialogue with Moscow, particularly in regards to the fight against terrorism, and expressed readiness to build positive relations with Russia. Moscow has long been promoting the idea of fruitful cooperation with Washington.

    After the leaders' phone talks on January 28, the Kremlin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the presidents had noted the importance of respect in relations.

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    Tags:
    Sean Spicer, Donald Trump, Crimea, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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