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    Never Gonna Give You Up: Crimea's Status Not Up For Debate, Says Kremlin

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    Russia is unwilling to consider returning Crimea to Kiev and won't debate the matter with anyone, including the US, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

    "This topic will not be discussed, because it cannot be discussed. Russia does not discuss issues related to its territory with foreign partners," Peskov told reporters.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his telephone conversation with US leader Donald Trump on January 28, did not address the issue of Crimea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added.

    "No, [the issue] was not raised," Peskov told reporters.

    On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump expected Russia to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine and return Crimea to Ukraine.

    On February 14, the White House spokesman said that US President Donald Trump expects Russia to "return Crimea" to Ukraine.

    "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.

    Commenting on the White House statement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Russia does not intend to return Crimea to Kiev.

    "We do not return our territories. Crimea is Russian territory," Zakharova said at a weekly briefing, reaffirming Moscow's longstanding position that the issue is permanently closed.

    Related:

    'Russia Does Not Return Its Territories' - Moscow on WH Statement on Crimea
    US Remarks on Crimea 'Cool Inflated Expectations' With Trump - Russian Lawmaker
    Out of Question: 'Crimea Cannot Be Subject of Bargaining Between Russia and US'
    Trump Expects Russia to 'Return Crimea' to Ukraine - White House
    Tags:
    Dmitry Peskov, Crimea, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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