12:21 GMT29 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian FM spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blamed on Tuesday US State Secretary Mike Pompeo for double standards over the US refusal to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia, saying that the US deliberately banned traveling to the region as it might imply “automatic recognition,” following the scenario with the Golan Heights.

    On Monday, Trump signed a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israel’s territory. Prior to that, Pompeo denied in an interview with the Sky News broadcaster last week that the US recognition of the Golan Heights as the Israeli territory was a double standard policy in light of Washington’s non-recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. The state secretary argued that “what the President did with the Golan Heights is recognize the reality on the ground and the security situation necessary for the protection of the Israeli state.”

    "There was a wonderful statement made by the US secretary of state, he said 'Listen, we just recognize the reality.' Now it’s clear why they do not let anyone in Crimea. It’s absolutely obvious… Because it will be a recognition of reality, which, according to Mr. Pompeo, should lead to an automatic recognition,” Zakharova told the Rossiya-1 broadcaster.

    The Golan Heights was seized by Israel from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967. In 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging Israel to immediately withdraw its forces from the area after the country organized local elections there on 30 October.

    The US move to recognize the Golan Heights as the Israeli territory triggered criticism from many nations, including Russia, France and the Gulf States.

    Crimea was officially reintegrated into Russia on 18 March, 2014 as a result of a referendum, in which the absolute majority of those who voted voiced their support for the move. While the United States and other countries have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the vote and have slammed the reunification as annexation, Moscow has maintained that the referendum was held in accordance with international law and Crimea is now an integral part of Russia.


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