MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Wednesday said he would not recommend anyone attack the Crimean peninsula, even if it is an attempt to return it to Ukraine.
“I wouldn’t suggest that to anyone. We have a doctrine of national security and it clearly illustrates what actions should be taken in this case," Lavrov said during a press conference in Moscow with his Italian counterpart Federica Mogherini.
Crimea rejoined Russia after a referendum held in March, with 96 percent of voters in the region backing the motion.
The US and the EU, as well as other Western countries, refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia and imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials, politicians and businessmen, as well as certain companies. Moscow has called these sanctions counterproductive.
Crimea is currently undergoing an integration process into Russia, focused on legislative adjustments, infrastructure projects and investment activity. The region has already switched to Russian electricity, water and supply provisions.
Russia has established timely payments of salaries and retirement benefits to Crimean residents, and is now working on increasing the investment attractiveness of the region and backing business activities there.