The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called elections conducted in Crimea September 14th and will not acknowledge their outcome, said U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf. The European Union has made a similar announcement, rejecting their legitimacy.
Russia seized the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and Sevastopol by force earlier this year. Only five United Nations-member countries, including Russia, have explicitly accepted the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as federal subjects of Russia. Sanctions were imposed on Russia by the United States, the European Union, and Japan because of the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty in Crimea. Russia has continued to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty by supporting pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, and by sending Russian troops and materiel across the border.
Speaking to reporters of the so-called elections in Crimea, Deputy Spokesperson Harf said that the United States’ position on Crimea remains clear: “the peninsula remains an integral part of Ukraine:
”The United States continues to condemn the Russian Federation’s occupation and purported annexation of Ukrainian territory and its violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity in breach of its obligations and commitments under the U.N. Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and its military basing agreements with Ukraine.
The United States, she said, is also concerned about “wide-scale reports of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea being forced to give up their Ukrainian passports for Russian passports and reports of routine human rights abuses against Crimean Tatars and other minorities and pro-Ukrainian activists, such as killings, disappearances, detentions, and raids on private homes and businesses.”
These abuses are unacceptable, said Deputy Spokesperson Harf, and the United States calls for an immediate end to such practices.