1 in 3 Europeans say Crimea is Russian, says a survey

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Moscow, March 17 (IANS) At least one-third of Americans, Dutch, British, French, German and Italian people believe that Crimea is part of Russia, says a survey report.

According to a survey organised by Sputnik.Polls and conducted by various organisations including Populus research firm in the US, 39 percent of Italians and 37 percent of Germans believe Crimea is part of Russia.

In Britain and the Netherlands, the share was 33 and 32 percent, respectively, while 26 percent of respondents in the US and France consider Crimea to be part of Russia.

The research conducted on March 4-9 involved 3,092 respondents over 18 years old, including 1,004 in the Netherlands, 1,085 in Britain and 1,003 in the US.

The Crimean peninsula refused to recognise the new government in Kiev, which came to power on February 21, 2014. The majority Russian autonomous republic feared the coup-imposed Ukrainian leadership would not represent their interests and respect their rights.

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Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the peninsula, voted for independence from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in a referendum on March 16, 2014.

The decision was supported by roughly 97 percent of voters with an 83 percent turnout.

However, the US and allies its allies refused to recognise the referendum and slapped Moscow with sanctions, which are still in force.

US President Barack Obama slammed the plebiscite as “illegal,” while British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that decision to “annex” Crimea would result in Russia facing “serious consequences.”

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