HELSINKI (QHA) -

US President Donald Trump does not recognize the annexation of the Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin said July 16 at a press conference following the meeting of American and Russian presidents in Helsinki.

Putin noted that Trump continues to adhere to the position of "illegality of the Crimea joining the Russian Federation"

“The position of President Trump on the Crimea is known. He adheres to it. He speaks about the illegality of the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian Federation. We have a different point of view. We believe that we held a referendum in full accordance with international law with the Charter of the United Nations ... For us, for the Russian Federation, this issue is closed. That's all," Putin said.

At the same time, the US president never mentioned the Crimean question during his communication with the press.

Ukrainian scholar, Doctor of Juridical Science, Professor Oleksandr Merezhko in his Facebook commented on Putin's statement.

“We should carefully consider Putin's recognition of the annexation of the Crimea: "We believe that we held a referendum in full accordance with international law ...". Who are those "we"? Russia. That is, Putin acknowledged that Russia held the "referendum" in Crimea. This is already enough to talk about the illegitimacy of the "referendum", because international law (the principles of sovereign equality, non-interference, etc.) do not allow one state to hold "referendums" in the territory of another," Merezhko wrote.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was "a very good start for everyone."

QHA reported that the meeting between Trump and Putin began with an hour's delay. The parties held talks at the presidential palace in Helsinki. Putin's plane was late for 35 minutes, but he was the first to arrive at the meeting place, after which Trump arrived with his wife.

Photo: AFP

QHA