The Russian embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday celebrated the anniversary of the reunification of the Crimea with a display of infrastructure development in the peninsula.
In 2014, a referendum was held on the issue of Russian reunification, in which Crimeans overwhelming voted to favour the reunification.
Today the peninsula is known as the Republic of Crimea, a federal subject of Russia, with Simferopol as its de facto capital and Sevastopol as a federal city of the Russian Federation.
Valentin Dikushin, minister-counsellor at the embassy, yesterday said the move is supported by the people of Crimea.
“We regard any attempts to question whether the peninsula belongs to Russia as politically motivated and legally groundless, including by ramming agenda-driven resolutions through multilateral forums,” he said.
“We reiterate that the Crimean people exercised their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter via a free and peaceful referendum vote, in line with democratic standards,” Mr Dikushin added.
Mr Dikushin said Russia plans to socio-economically integrate the Republic of Crimea with the Russian Federation.
“We see a target development programme for the period of up to 2022 being implemented,” Mr Dikushin said. “Consistent efforts are taken to improve living standards and build modern infrastructure.”
The Russian embassy in Phnom Penh is displaying a 19-kilometre bridge linking the Russian mainland to Crimea. It said the bridge is worth $3.7 billion and is expected to carry millions of travellers annually.
“A good example of progress,” Mr Dikushin said. “It is important to connect Russia and Crimea.”
Konstantin Dremov, press attache at the embassy, said the peninsula had been badly managed before Russia came, adding that things are improving for the people of Crimea.
“Crimea is one of the most dynamically developing Russian regions,” Mr Dremov said. “Positive dynamics is observed in almost all main economic sectors of Crimea, along with the sustainable regional budget revenue increasing and residential development gaining momentum.”
When asked about the referendum, Sok Touch, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said “70 percent of Crimeans are of Russian descent and that about 90 percent of voters chose Russia.”