On March 18, on the sixth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement by the Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova , which pointed to "attempts by opponents to continue isolating" the peninsula.
"Attempts to isolate Crimea continue, but it is becoming more and more difficult for our opponents to follow this course. In 2019, more than 70 significant international events were held in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. Yalta International Economic Forum, which has become an effective platform for demonstrating the investment opportunities in Crimea, saw a record number of participants - 4.5 thousand attendees from 89 countries," she said.
Russian-controlled Crimean authorities and representatives of pro-Russian organizations of the peninsula periodically make attempts to visit international forums to legalize the annexation of the peninsula.
In turn, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned foreign citizens and stateless persons against illegal travel to the annexed Crimea.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.