The Kremlin press service "corrected" the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin made during a press conference with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki (Finland) about who held the "referendum" in the occupied Crimea. A corrected quote was published on the website of the Russian president.
At a press conference, Putin said: "We believe, we held a referendum in strict accordance with international law, with the UN Charter." However, the press office removed the second clearly pronounced "we" from the transcript, changing the essence of the statement of the Russian president. Now the statement means: “We believe the referendum was held in strict accordance with international law…”
The abovementioned statement also clearly sounds in the immediate translation of the press conference (timing 44:20 - 44:50)
QHA reported that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko commented on Putin's words about the "legality" of the annexation of the Crimea and about holding a "referendum". He noted that not the Ukrainians, not Ukrainian authorities or people, but they held a referendum, which is another convincing proof of the illegality of annexation.
Ukrainian scholar, Doctor of Juridical Science, Professor Oleksandr Merezhko commented on Putin's statement. According to him, Putin's recognition that a "referendum" was held by Russia in the Crimea is enough to talk about his illegitimacy, as international law does not allow one state holding a "referendum” on the territory of another state.