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    Western Sanctions Will Not Return Crimea to Ukraine - German Lawmaker

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    Anti-Russia sanctions imposed by the West over the Ukrainian crisis will not return the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea to Ukraine, German lawmaker Andrej Hunko told Sputnik Tuesday.

    STRASBOURG (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova The European Union, the United States and their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia in 2014 over its alleged interference in the Ukrainian crisis — a claim repeatedly denied by the Kremlin.

    “From the beginning we were against these sanctions, and I don't think the sanctions will have any positive effect on the question of Crimea coming back to Ukraine," Hunko said.

    The sanctions will negatively affect the economy and people in Russia and Europe, he added, highlighting that he is strongly opposed to the policy.

    It would be better to start thinking about acceptable legal solutions for Crimea, Hunko said. He cited a proposal by German lawmaker Matthias Platzeck for a new referendum in Crimea, involving international observers.

    "It is the thinking of how to come out of the confrontation, not pushing more and more," Hunko added.

    In March 2014, over 96 percent of Crimean residents voted to rejoin Russia during a referendum.

    Credentials of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will not be annulled, German lawmaker said.

    On Wednesday, PACE will debate a resolution on Russian credentials. The report, prepared by Stefan Schennach, suggests that Russian credentials not be annulled, so that a dialogue with Russia may be maintained, but retains the current sanctions on the Russian delegation, includingthe loss of its voting rights.

    "I think it is very clear that the credentials of Russian delegation will remain, they will be approved, not annulled," Andrej Hunko said.

    The lawmaker pointed out, however, that he is not in favor of the resolution, which he considers one-sided.

    “But the important thing in the end is that as far as I hope the credentials will not be annulled," Hunko stressed.

    The June 22-26 PACE summer session, taking place in Strasbourg, is perceived as a deadline for the Council of Europe's lawmakers to decide on the annulment of previously ratified Russian delegation credentials. Russia has decided to stay out of PACE sessions until 2016 following the decision by the assembly to strip Russia of its voting rights over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, United States, European Union, Crimea, Russia
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