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    Swallow's Nest Castle on top of a coastal cliff in Crimea's Gaspra town.

    German Chancellor Candidate Calls for Recognition of Crimea as Part of Russia

    © Sputnik / Sergey Malgavko
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    A candidate for German Chancellor proposed recognizing Crimea as part of Russia because it will never rejoin Ukraine.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — It is necessary to recognize Crimea as part of Russia because the peninsula will never again rejoin Ukraine, and sanctions are useless, deputy leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and candidate for chancellor Alexander Gauland said.

    "It is right to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Crimea will never rejoin Ukraine. Sanctions will not change anything," Gauland told the newspaper, Berliner Morgenpost, in an interview published on Saturday.

    Gauland stressed that it was necessary to integrate Russia "into the European order," while "the conflict with NATO should be stopped."

    Earlier in August, Christian Lindner, the head of the German liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), told German publisher Funke Mediengruppe that European security and development depended on a number of factors, including relations with Moscow. According to Lindner, who occupies fifth place on the list of most popular political figures in Germany, the issue of Crimea's accession should, at least for now, be regarded as a "long-term temporary solution."

    Crimea reunified with Russia after 96 percent of its voters supported such a move in a referendum in March 2014. The referendum was held after new authorities took power in Kiev after what many considered to be a coup. The reunification of the peninsula with Russia has not been recognized by a majority of Western countries, including the European Union, which subsequently imposed economic and political sanctions on Russia. Moscow has repeatedly said that the referendum was conducted in compliance with international law.

    The German elections are set to take place in late September.

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    Free Democratic Party (FDP), Alexander Gauland, Germany, Crimea
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