6 Mar 2019 13:40

Kremlin expecting Google Maps to indicate Crimea's belonging correctly

MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) - The Kremlin is expecting Google Maps to indicate Crimea's belonging correctly, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the press on Wednesday.

"This [Google] is a foreign service. Nonetheless, we are expecting Crimea's belonging to be indicated correctly from the geographical point of view," Peskov said.

A journalist asked whether the way Crimea's belonging was indicated on Google Maps mattered to the Kremlin. "Of course, it matters. Crimea is a region of the Russian Federation," he said.

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin ordered on January 24 to invite a Google representative to the house for conveying Russia's opinion that Crimea must not be designated as a Ukrainian territory. He said that Crimea's designation as a Ukrainian territory was an example of Google's violation of Russian laws.

The Google press service said that the error had occurred in iOS-based devices of the U.S. company Apple. "We are doing everything we can to objectively designate disputed territories. Whenever we have local versions of Google Maps, for instance, in Russia, we comply with local laws in indicating names and borders," it said.

Google said on March 5 it had corrected the mistake in Crimea's designation on its maps, which caused discontent of Duma deputies.

Following collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea remained an autonomous republic within Ukraine. It united with Russia in March 2014 after a regional referendum. Ukraine refused to recognize results of the referendum and described the peninsula as a temporarily occupied territory. The EU and the United States called Russia's action an annexation and imposed sanctions on certain companies, politicians, and businessmen. Russia insists that Crimea is a closed subject, and the peninsula belongs to it.