A day after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, the Russian government said it was not Russia and the peninsula was not part of Russia.
“Crimea is not Russia,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday in televised comments, according to the Russian Interfax news agency.
“It belongs to Ukraine and it is under Ukraine’s control,” he said.
Crimea is a part of Ukraine but not under Russian control.
Crimea’s status as part of the Russian Federation has long been a source of tension with the United States, and Russia has repeatedly said it is not at war with Ukraine.
“The Crimea issue is a political one and the international community should not make any decisions on it,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“We strongly oppose attempts to alter the status quo in Crimea, which is in fact a part in Ukraine.”