Underlining Russia’s contention that it is anything but isolated internationally over its actions in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that leaders at two summits hosted by Russia this week did not raise concerns relating to its annexation of Crimea.
Pointing to final documents being released at the end of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders’ summits, Lavrov told reporters that they were silent on Crimea, which he said was a “closed” issue.
“None of our partners declare their non-recognition of the referendum’s results, which became the basis for Crimea’s reunification with Russia,” he said, referring to a March 2014 Moscow-supported referendum in the Ukrainian region which the West rejected.
Lavrov said the leaders gathered for the twin summits in the remote southern city of Ufa called for implementation of the “Minsk” ceasefire agreement negotiated between Ukraine government and Russian-backed separatists, but that does not relate to Crimea.
“In the documents, which you will see in a few hours, the leaders of BRICS as well as the leaders of the SCO reinforce our common stance on the need for full and scrupulous implementation of the Minsk agreements, which are unrelated to the Crimean issue,” he said.
“The issue with Crimea is closed, everyone realizes that, even those who cannot stop talking about it,” Lavrov added. “It was closed by the people of Crimea, and Russia’s decisions were taken on the basis of the clearly expressed will of the Crimean people.”