De jure, the Russian-annexed Crimea is Ukraine and de facto, it is a part of Russia, but there are no expectations for the return of the peninsula, Viktor Medvedchuk, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a participant of the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk talks, said in his interview with "Radio Liberty".
According to him, from a legal point of view, Crimea is part of Ukraine, "but de facto, unfortunately, it belongs to Russia."
Furthermore, Medvedchuk has accused Ukraine that it "pushes the peninsula away, alienating its residents" that allegedly prompted them to accept the annexation.
"If the authorities in Ukraine would like Crimea returned, they would not cut the electricity (from the mainland to the peninsula), not cut the water and declare an economic blockade. It would not have stopped rail transport, both freight and passenger," Medvedchuk repeats the Kremlin rhetoric.
Speaking about the Donbas occupied by pro-Russian militants, Medvedchuk said that the Ukraine should "reach consensus" directly with the leaders of the militants ("DPR" and "LPR"), because, according to him, "there is no other way for the return of these territories back."
"Well, there is one more way, but it is unrealistic. The Ukrainian army must go on the offensive and seize these territories by force. But neither Washington nor Brussels will let Ukraine do that," he stated.
Medvedchuk also said that his relationship with Putin “helps Ukraine's interests", and that the Russian President shared the position that "Donbas is part of Ukraine."
But, according to the newspaper, the journalists - who visited the demarcation line in the ATO zone near Marinka Donetsk region two days after the interview - witnessed another violation of cease-fire by militants.