The Crimean referendum on reunification with Russia was a vote for independence, says Ambassador of Italy in Moscow Cesare Ragaglini. This opinion diplomat expressed in an interview with the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Talked with him a journalist called the entry of the Crimea into structure of Russia of the annexation and violation of international law. “Crimea was not the first country that voted for independence in Europe,” retorted Ragaglini.
“Nobody denies the right of sovereign States to join international organizations, but there is no doubt that the negotiations of the EU with Ukraine [the Association] had strong political motives: it was an obvious attempt to bring Kiev under the historical influence of Russia. If that was the goal, then the EU has failed to do so,” the Ambassador said. According to him, the EU should not have underestimated the economic and historical ties between Moscow and Kiev.
He also added that sanctions imposed against Russia after the reunification with Crimea, is unlikely to cause Moscow to change its position on the Ukrainian question.
Corriere della Sera notes that Ragaglini, appointed Ambassador to Russia in 2013, at the end of this year, will leave his post. Reviews from the Italian Ministry of foreign Affairs on the occasion of his statements has not yet been reported.
Crimea became part of Russia after the March 2014 referendum in which the majority of inhabitants of the region have supported such a decision. Kiev, the EU and the USA refused to recognize results of plebiscite. In Moscow insist that the accession of the region conform to the norms of international law.