OREANDA-NEWSRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about Washington’s request to hold a second referendum in the Crimea after the first vote. According to the minister, the then US Secretary of State John Kerry made a corresponding proposal in April 2014. Moscow has refused the request. "Why? If you all understand, why once again chase people for some vote? I hope John doesn"t take offense at me. He also published in his memoirs some of the secrets of our conversations with him”, said Mr. Lavrov in an interview with the Russian media.

According to him, five years ago in Washington they recognized that “everything happened as the Crimean people wanted”, and another referendum is needed only “for order”. Crimea became part of Russia on March 18, 2014 - two days after the referendum, in which 96.77% (according to official data) of the inhabitants of the peninsula voted for entry into Russia. Western countries do not agree with the fact that the Crimea is Russian, and consider the peninsula occupied territory. Moscow has repeatedly stated that the inhabitants of the peninsula expressed their will in a democratic way, in full accordance with international law and the UN Charter. According to Vladimir Putin, the issue of Crimea is “completely closed”.

Earlier, "NATO firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Allies don't recognize and wont recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. And we condemn Russia's aggressive actions in the Black Sea region", NATO Secretary General told reporters. He also said that NATO "welcomes the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea that Russia must free Ukrainian sailors and ships". "The Allies will continue to explain to Russia that it must fulfill its international obligations and its international obligations", he said.