The United States has announced that it will not recognize Russia’s parliamentary elections planned for Crimea.
“The United States does not recognize the legitimacy, and will not recognize the outcome, of the Russian Duma elections planned for Russian-occupied Crimea on September 18th,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement issued on Friday.
This will be the first time Crimeans will elect members of the Duma since its reunification with Russia two-and-a-half years ago.
“Our position on Crimea is clear: the peninsula remains an integral part of Ukraine. Crimea-related sanctions against Russia will remain until Russia returns control of Crimea to Ukraine,” Kirby continued.
In a referendum, Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to rejoin with the Russian mainland.