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Russian embassy in US asks CIA to update its map to include Crimea

The Russian Embassy in the United States has requested that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) update its map of Russia that the agency had posted on Twitter to include Crimea.

Published: July 9, 2018, 11:26 am

    The US agency posted a map of Russia, with Crimea marked as part of Ukraine, even though the peninsula’s residents rejoined Russia in 2014 after a referendum. The Crimean peninsula is thus part of the Russian Federation, joined by the recent Kerch Strait bridge.

    The CIA had tweeted some facts about Russia and Croatia on Saturday, when the two countries were facing each other in the soccer quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup wto which Russia is host.

    “Congratulations accepted, @CIA. Please update your @Russia map and statistics: Population: 146,9 million (Jan 2018 est.), Area total: 17,125,191 sq km,” the embassy said, posting a map of Russia with Crimea included in Russian territory.

    Kiev and its allies have not accepted the results of the Crimean referendum, where over 90 percent backed reunification with Russia. Opponents still like to consider the peninsula as part of Ukraine.

    Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that the vote was carried out in accordance with international laws.

    On June 29, US President Donald Trump, answering the questions by journalists, said he was ready to reconsider the US position on the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, said: “We’re going to have to see.” This caused a wave of speculation in the media about whether Washington plans to recognise the peninsula as Russian territory. In addition, Trump said that he will discuss the conflict in Syria with Russian president Vladimir Putin at their upcoming meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

    US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker however said his country does not plan to recognise Crimea as part of Russia. He stated this in an interview with the German TV Channel OstWest.

    “I think that the American media hurried up with the story about the possibility of recognising the annexation of Crimea. The White House spoke out very clearly – Assistant to the US President for National Security Affairs (NSA) John Bolton and White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarified that the US did not plan to recognise the Russian annexation of Crimea. This is the American position,” Volker said.

    He added that the administration of the US president demonstrated a consistent approach in the matter of supporting the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine.

    Answering the question whether Ukraine risks losing support of the West, in particular, because of problems with corruption and Nazi movements, Volker responded:”Ukraine, as before, has significant problems with corruption, as well as a significant place for reforms that have not yet been carried out, but should be implemented.”

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