Marine Le Pen, former presidential candidate and leader of the France’s main opposition party, National Rally, declared in the French National Assembly that Crimea is legitimately a part of Russian.
“Crimea has been Russian for two centuries and has been Ukrainian for only 60 years after having been handed over by a dictator on a whim,” Le Pen told the deputies of the National Assembly, referring to the fact that Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 on the initiative of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. “I am a staunch supporter of referendums. I believe that Crimean residents have freely voiced their desire to be part of Russia through voting.”
“I have my own impressions from my trips to Crimea, where I talked to the residents and could see for myself that they are more inclined towards Russia,” she added, pointing to the fact that there have been no “Crimean refugees. No one left its territory after the referendum,” she pointed out. “This vote reflected the will of the Crimean population,” Le Pen affirmed.
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After U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in February 2014, the governments in Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum on reunification with Russia. The overwhelming majority of voters supported reunification (96.7% in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% in the City of Sevastopol), with turnout reaching 80%. Despite the results of the referendum, Kiev and the EU have refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, even though they support Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence for which no referendum was held.
“I fully support the referendum, I believe that the people of Crimea have freely expressed their will by voting to reunite with Russia,” Le Pen concluded.
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