OREANDA-NEWS. Turkey stands for the preservation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, President of the Republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking at the general political debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. The text of the speech is published on his website.

"We attach great importance to the protection of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including the territory of Crimea, the annexation of which we do not recognize," Erdogan said. The Turkish Foreign Ministry earlier refused to recognize the State Duma elections in Crimea. Their results have no legal force for Ankara, since it considers the annexation of the peninsula to Russia illegal, the ministry recalled.

The Kremlin called Turkey's decision not to recognize the elections unacceptable, and the Russian Foreign Ministry promised to draw appropriate conclusions. "Turkey knows perfectly well that Crimea is a sovereign part of the Russian Federation, and it knows perfectly well that we never ignore such statements," said the official representative of the ministry, Maria Zakharova.

Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum in 2014. The decision was supported by 96% of the residents of the peninsula who participated in the voting. Ukraine and most Western countries did not recognize the results of the referendum and declared the annexation of Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that the issue of ownership of the peninsula is closed.