ROME (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, the White House spokesman said that US President Donald Trump expects Russia to "return Crimea" to Ukraine.
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 15 февраля 2017 г.
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.
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.