Ukraine’s foreign ministry summoned Syria’s Charge d’Affaires a.i. to lodge a protest against Damascus’ recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, the ministry’s spokesperson Maryana Betsa said.
“On October 20 the Foreign Ministry summoned Syria’s Charge d’Affaires to lodge a strong protest against Syria’s recognition of Crimea as part of Russia and demand explanation concerning the statements of the Syrian parliament speaker on the Crimean issue,” the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper quoted Betsa as saying.
According to the spokesperson, Kiev considers the Syrian parliament speaker’s statements as “an unfriendly step towards our country” that “sparks outrage.”
Syria’s parliament speaker Hadiyeh al-Abbas had said in an interview with a Russian news agency that Syrian authorities recognized Crimea as integral part of Russia.
On March 16, 2014, the authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum on reunification with Russia. Over 80% of voters took part in the referendum with 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol voting in favor of the reunification.
On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on including the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into the Russian Federation. On March 21, the document was ratified by the Federal Assembly (Russian parliament). Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia despite the convincing outcome of the referendum and has been making political demarches against any actions that may be seen as recognition of Crimea as Russian territory.