Crimea is and will always be part of Russia, the issue is not negotiable under any circumstances, Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, told Sputnik on Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump expects Russia to de-escalate the situation in Donbass and return Crimea to Ukraine.
“The issue of Crimea return is absolutely clear — it is part of Russia and it cannot be subject of bargaining between Russia and the United States, no matter what is at stake,” Ozerov stressed.
The lawmaker added that the demand to return Crimea could be compared to Russia demanding from the US to return Alaska, “which is absolutely impossible.”
Ozerov suggested that Spicer’s statement could have been an attempt to defuse the tension around Trump and to signal to the US establishment that the president was not as lenient toward Russia as he might seem to be.