The historical reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014 allowed to prevent an armed conflict on the territory of the peninsula and to avoid numerous casualties, Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said Thursday.
“The political decision of Russia’s leadership to reunify with Crimea, which has been supported by the Russian nation, allowed to avoid an armed conflict on the territory of the peninsula with an unpredictable number of casualties and damages,” Gryzlov said.
He added that the decision about a referendum on the issue of rejoining Russia had been made in the context of a political crisis in Ukraine and in Crimea there was a real threat of violent actions of radical nationalist movements, who had seized the power in Kiev.
On March 16, 2014, the residents of Crimea participated in a referendum, in which a total of 96.77 percent of the republic’s and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s voters spoke in favor of rejoining Russia. The decision to hold the plebiscite was made after a coup d’etat in Ukraine.