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    Putin’s Visit to Crimea Russian Internal Affair, Does Not Concern Ukraine

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    Vladimir Putin has a right to visit Crimea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —  Russian President Vladimir Putin has a right to visit any region of Russia, including Crimea, and foreign states have nothing to do with it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday when commenting on Ukraine’s protest note over Putin’s visit to Crimea.

    On Wednesday, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry sent its formal protest to Moscow after Putin had arrived in the peninsula to take part in the regional forum of All-Russia People's Front called "Forum of action. Crimea." The two-day forum covered issues of energy, gas supplies, development of agricultural industry and other promising sectors of the economy.

    “Ukraine usually expresses protest. And we, traditionally, do not take into account these protests, because the president visits those regions of Russia, which he considers necessary to visit. It is the Russian internal business and does not concern any other state, including Ukraine,” Peskov told reporters.

    Crimea, Russia's historical southern region, seceded from Ukraine to rejoin Russia in March 2014. Almost 97 percent of the region's population voted for reunification in a referendum. Sevastopol, which has a federal city status, supported the move by 95.6 percent of votes. The referendum was held after a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. Kiev, as well as the European Union, the United States and their allies, did not recognize the move and consider the peninsula to be an occupied territory.

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