The European Parliament held a plenary session on what it called "Five years of illegal occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation" in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

"Five years ago the Russian Federation illegally annexed the autonomous republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol. Five years on, the European Union remains steadfast in its support to Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity," said European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation Johannes Hahn. "We don't and we will not recognise this violation of international law. We are unwavering in our non-recognition policy."

Hahn also commented on November's Kerch Strait incident, saying "the Union expects Russia to release unconditionally and without further delay the Ukrainian crew members and vessels that were captured on that day."

A referendum on Crimea's status took place on March 16, 2014. The final results showed that 96.77 percent voted in favour of Crimea seceding from Ukraine and becoming part of the Russian Federation.

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