US President Donald Trump is expecting the Russian government to return Crimea to Ukraine, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine, was annexed by Russia in 2014.
“President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea,” Spicer said in a press briefing on February 14, a transcript of which is uploaded on the White House’s website.
“At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with Russia, unlike previous administrations, so that we can solve many problems together facing the world, such as the threat of ISIS and terrorism,” he said.
Spicer made the statement as he was speaking in connection with Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security advisor.
Trump sought Flynn’s resignation because of a trust issue and not a legal issue, according to the spokesman.
“That’s why the President decided to ask for his resignation, and he got it. The irony of this entire situation is that the President has been incredibly tough on Russia,” Spicer said.
According to a New York Times report published online on February 13, Flynn said in his resignation letter that he “inadvertently” gave US Vice President Mike Pence and others “incomplete information” about his phone calls with Russian envoy to the US Sergey Kislyak.