Putin: If West So Concerned About Welfare of Crimeans, Why Put Special Sanctions on Them?
Vladimir Putin: I see «Crimea» over there. Let's listen to them. Crimea? There was a sign.
Dmitry Peskov, Press-secretary: Not the Caucasus, there was Crimea.
— It should be there. Oh, here you are. Thank you welcome. Wait a minute.
— Hello, Artyom Artyomenko, Krym 24 channel. Mr. Putin, you recently said that the restrictions which some countries have imposed against Russia have a direct impact on the inhabitants of Crimea who voted to join Russia in 2014. Could you elaborate on what you said? By the way, what should we do about it? Thank you.
— Indeed, I said this, although I don't remember where. But I can make it clear. You see, it's quite a curious situation. What do we hear from the world? They say it was annexation of Crimea by Russia. What is annexation? It's taking by force. If it was an annexation and taken by force then it has nothing to do with the inhabitants of Crimea. They're guilty of nothing. But if they voted for this, then it wasn't an annexation.
What happened? Was that sanctions were imposed against you. The sanctions are restrictions on the liberty of movement, restrictions connected with exiting the country and receiving visas, restrictions on financial services, restrictions related to the operation of insurance companies, on the usage of the sea and other infrastructure. So it means that it concerns all of the people who live in that territory. The sanctions were imposed against them. They're aimed not at the authorities of the Crimean Republic and Sevastopol, they are aimed at all of you.
If it was an annexation and the people aren't guilty why were the sanctions imposed? If the sanctions were imposed because you voted the wrong way then they should admit it took place. That's the peculiarity. That's what I meant.