Pompeo: Russia should end annexation of Crimea
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Russia to end its annexation of Crimea in a declaration Wednesday, reaffirming a long-held U.S. position a week after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
âThe United States calls on Russ ia to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea,â Pompeo said in the declaration. âThrough its actions, Russia has acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community.â
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The declaration comes as Pompeo prepares to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday afternoon. On the docket for that hearing is likely Trumpâs summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland last week.
In a side-by-side press conference, Trump was reluctant to criticize the Russian presidentâs actions, including the annexation of Crimea and alleged meddling in the 2016 election. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, to the dismay of the international community.
Putin said during the press conference that Trump's position on Crimea was "well-known" and that he "continues to maintain that it was illegal to annex it."
In Wednesdayâs statement, Pompeo called for Ukraineâs âterritorial integrityâ to be restored. He said one country changing the borders of another country by force would undermine an international principle shared by democratic nations.
âAs we did in the Welles Declaration in 1940, the United States reaffirms as policy its refusal to recognize the Kremlinâs claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force in contravention of international law,â Pompeo said.