French presidential candidate from the National Front political party Marine Le Pen has said the vote of Crimea residents at the referendum on the reunification with Russia was quite natural.
“Crimea was incorporated into Ukraine in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev’s unilateral decision and without consultations with the people. However, two-thirds of its residents call themselves Russians. That’s why when they asked for their opinion, they quite naturally expressed their desire to join Russia,” she said in an interview with the Rzech Pospolita newspaper.
“Europe has suffered too much because of border disputes to again antagonize peoples in the issues that only concern them. So when the border problem emerges, one should be considerate and ask those interested,” the French presidential candidate said.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the authorities that came to power amid riots during the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification treaty on March 18, 2014.