BELGRADE – Crimea’s incorporation into Russia was legitimate, leader of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, has said.
“I do not think that (Crimea’s) reunification (with Russia) was illegitimate,” she told the BFM TV network on Tuesday. “A referendum was organized, and residents of Crimea voted to join Russia. I see no grounds whatsoever to question this referendum.”
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during the coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
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. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.
Ukraine, the US and the EU refused to recognize Crimea’s independence and its incorporation into Russia.