Speculation over leasing Crimea to Russia is surrender of peninsula to occupier - Ukrainian FM

Speculation over leasing Crimea to Russia is surrender of peninsula to occupier - Ukrainian FMUkraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said speculation over leasing Crimea to the Russian Federation is a deliberate surrender of the annexed peninsula to [Russian] occupiers.

"Speculation that Crimea will 'go the way of Alaska' is a deliberate attempt to surrender Crimea. No one in the U.S. seriously discusses these kinds of plans. If 'payments' are made, then it means someone has already divvied them up with someone else. We should not be silent about this," Klimkin said in an interview appearing in the Kyiv-based weekly Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper.

Klimkin said in Ukraine, unlike many other countries, politicians use foreign policy of other governments to achieve domestic aims.

"In many countries, despite internal squabbles, as a rule, everyone speaks the same language, as a minimum, to give the same messages to the outside world. But our politicians use the policies of foreign governments to achieve leverage in domestic politics … This is very sad. This practice puts Ukrainian politicians in a bad light and is the source of derision of our international partners," he said.

Klimkin also said he does not rule out the necessity for Ukraine to adopt a law akin to the Logan Act in the U.S., which foresees punishment for those who, without the requisite authority, enter into contact with a foreign government in order to mitigate one or some international issues.

The head of Ukraine's foreign ministry said he will visit France in the near future for a meeting with that country's leading presidential candidates, including Marine Le Pen from the ultra-nationalist National Front Party. Klimkin said he is even ready to talk with those politicians who do not accept Ukraine's stance on Donbas and Crimea. He added that Kyiv must adopt a coherent strategy to combat Russian propaganda directed at leftist and conservative political parties in European countries.
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