13:43 Sep. 4, 2016
Sanctions against Russia must be kept in force
The State Department's Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, Daniel Fried, claimed that the US will never recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
"The US has a long-lasting patience. In the context of Crimea, I can confirm that the US will never accept the annexation. Russia recognized Crimea as a part of Ukraine in the Budapest memorandum. I remember it very well, I was there with President Clinton during the signing. In this case, we plan to be patient", Fried told Delfi news agency.
He also added that sanctions against Russia should remain.
"Our opinion is unshakable. We think that the sanctions affect Russia. They are pressing and keep the situation away from getting worse", the State Department representative said.
Daniel Fried continued that if the sanctions hadn't been imposed by the EU and the US, Russia would act more aggressively in Ukraine. Moreover, the sanctions made it possible to conclude the Minsk agreements.
"Yes, the sanctions haven't persuaded Russia to observe the Minsk deal. I would say that the sanctions work partially. And I must say that one needs patience in politics. We should demonstrate we are ready to carry on our obligations", he explained.
The US recently strengthened sanctions against Russia. The US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on September 1 extended sanctions against Russian companies of President Vladimir Putin's allies engaged in the construction of the Kerch Bridge in Russian-annexed Crimea.
Crimea was seized from Ukraine by Russia in February 2014. Ukraine's Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially declared February 20, 2014, a beginning of Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Numerous world leaders strongly condemned the illegal annexation and launched a range of economic sanctions against Russia.
Despite the overall resentment, Moscow rejects the notion "occupation", naming its deeds instead "a renewal of historical justice".