The head of the Crimean Republic, Sergey Aksyonov, has told reporters that he expects relations between Russia and Ukraine to be completely restored once the current Ukrainian regime is ousted and replaced by democratically-elected leaders.
“Brotherly relations will be restored after the authorities in Kiev are replaced. I think that this will happen soon. They are moving towards complete failure fast – the economic situation in the country testifies to the fact that the collapse will be very rapid,” Aksyonov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
The Crimean leader added that he expected Ukrainian voters to elect “worthy people” who could run the country while maintaining good relations with Moscow.
The statement came in reaction to a letter sent to the Russian government by the Kiev city legislature, in which Ukrainian lawmakers wrote they were severing the sister-city relations between the Ukrainian capital and several Russian cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. In addition, the city of Khmelnytskyi has also decided to quit sister-city relations with Russia’s Tver and Ivanovo, and Chernigov did the same with Russia’s Pskov.
Russia’s presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has expressed regret over the moves. “Deleting the glorious moments of the cities’ common history is shortsighted and capable of hurting the feelings of many in Kiev and in Russian cities alike,” Peskov said. He also noted that similar reciprocal measures on the Russian side were unlikely as Russian officials prefer not to act like their counterparts in Ukraine.