Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Today, as Russia’s occupation of Crimea enters its third year, we reaffirm our commitment to a united, sovereign Ukraine. The United States does not recognize Russia’s “referendum” of March 16, 2014 or its attempted annexation of Crimea, which violates international law.
We remain deeply concerned by the situation in Russian-occupied Crimea, where occupation “authorities” suppress dissent and where ethnic and religious minorities — especially Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians — face serious and ongoing repression. Nongovernmental organizations and independent media are still being silenced or driven out, and international observers are still denied access to the peninsula.
We will not accept the redrawing of borders by force in the 21st century. Sanctions related to Crimea will remain in place as long as the occupation continues. We again call on Russia to end that occupation and return Crimea to Ukraine.