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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.

    Trump Asks Whether Obama Was 'Too Soft' on Russia Over Crimea

    © REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov
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    US President Donald Trump questioned on Wednesday whether his predecessor Barack Obama was "too soft" on Russia regarding Crimea.

    ROME (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, the White House spokesman said that US President Donald Trump expects Russia to "return Crimea" to Ukraine.

    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.

    Winter Wonders of Crimea
    © Sputnik / Sergey Malgavko
    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 on Wednesdya 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.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow would not discuss issues related to its territory with foreign partners.

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    Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Crimea, United States, Russia
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