Kremlin Says Referendum on Crimea’s Status in 2014 Was Absolutely Legitimate

The 2014 referendum on the status of Crimea was legitimate from the standpoint of international law and Ukrainian legislation, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Tuesday, TASS reports.

“That referendum was legitimate essentially, from the standpoint of international law and from the standpoint of Ukraine’s own laws,” the Kremlin spokesman said. “It was absolutely legitimate and legal.”

Peskov recalled that in Ukraine Crimea enjoyed a special status, which was clearly described in the Ukrainian Constitution, including “all legislative and other initiatives of the Crimean legislators.”

“If you study them, you will see that everything was strictly in line with the existing laws,” he added. In response to a remark the Ukrainian Constitution did not envisage the right of regions to hold a referendum without consent from the central authorities Peskov said that such a possibility was not banned either.

The Kremlin spokesman said that even a hypothetical possibility of raising the issue of referendums on the self-determination of Russia’s regions was not being discussed. Asked how the Russian authorities might react, should such a hypothetical possibility become real, Peskov said that in the Russian Constitution “everything is stated in very clear terms regarding the territorial integrity of Russia.”

“This (referendum) would be a violation of the fundamental law of Russia. No violations of Russia’s fundamental law can be on the agenda. For this reason, we do not discuss the possibility of raising this issue even hypothetically,” Peskov said.

One of the journalists asked Peskov why the names of many of those who maintained security at the referendum in Crimea seven years ago remained undisclosed, the Kremlin official replied that “most of these people keep working actively and performing their duties today.”

“Many of those people work in sensitive spheres, so it is quite normal that their names are not made public,” he added.