Russian lawmaker calls Trump's statements on Crimea alarming

The chairman of the Russian upper house of parliament's defense committee, Viktor Ozerov, said that Crimea can not be "subject of bargaining" between Russia and the United States, following the claim that US President Donald Trump is expecting Moscow to return Crimea to Kiev.

"(Trump) continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration had allowed to be seized by Russian Federation".

'Crimea was TAKEN by Russian Federation during the Obama Administration, ' Trump wrote. "The theme of returning Crimea will not be discussed", he stressed. As a result Trump has to deliberately obfuscate his opponents.

"Yes, Obama was too soft on Russia", Benitez told Business Insider.

Trump was picking up an attack - blaming Obama for the loss of Crimea - floated by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, as he faced questions about why National Security Advisor Mike Flynn hadn't been fired sooner after his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the USA were first revealed.

Trump denounced "this Russian connection non-sense" as "merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign". In the Russian media, sanctions placed on Russia by both parties were presented as proof of the West's determination to destroy or ruin Russia.

However, Ukraine says the referendum was a sham held at gunpoint after Russian troops illegally annexed the peninsula, that Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by people power, and that Moscow should return Crimea.

Moscow's reaction came quickly after the press release.

The administration's chief response to the annexation, which quickly became a de facto success after Russian-backed pro-Russia Ukrainian elements prevailed on the battlefield, was to impose a series of economic sanctions on Russia.

"We do not give our territories back", Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, according to Interfax. The Russian oil rigs are in the Odessa gas fields, where Russia hijacked two drilling rigs in Ukrainian waters in December 2015, claiming them as part of the new Russian Crimea.

Trump suggested during the election campaign that he would consider easing sanctions and possibly even recognizing Crimea as Russian, but members of his administration have said since his inauguration that Crimea belongs to Ukraine. Despite decades of association with Ukraine, a number of residents of the territory and Russian officials believe it belongs to Russia. 'Russia does not discuss its territorial integrity with foreign partners, ' he said.

  • Leroy Wright