Deject Crimeans lamenting their hostile takeover by Russia.
Washington's policy toward Crimea is a denial of reality on the ground, and it will remain as such in the near future, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Daniel McAdams told Sputnik.

"The United States foreign policy establishment is in a state of denial about Crimea," McAdams stated on Sunday. "What will that policy be in the foreseeable future? Denial of the political reality that a part of Ukraine did not accept an illegal, Washington-directed coup d'etat and instead chose to secede."

March 16 marks one year since the Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine and became a part of Russia after more than 96 percent of local voters supported the move in a referendum. The West refused to recognize Crimea's reunification with Russia claiming it violated Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and introduced several waves of sanctions targeting the country's economy and certain individuals.

"Though recent, credible polls demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of Crimean residents are pleased to re-join Russia, the US continues to pretend some sort of invasion took place and the residents are hostages," McAdams pointed out.

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that the residents of Crimea are living under a "reign of terror."

"Were it truly a 'reign of terror' in Crimea, we would certainly see some resistance to Russian rule," McAdams asserted. "According to the recent polls, even among Tatars less than one-quarter of the population say they would vote to rejoin Ukraine."

Crimea's secession from Ukraine took place after a coup installed a new, fiercely nationalist government in Kiev in February, 2014, which in its turn alienated Crimea's majority Russian-speaking population of some 2.4 million. Ethnic Russians have dominated the peninsula since its capture by the Russian empire from the Ottomans in the 18th century.

Crimea refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government in Kiev that overthrew Russia-leaning President Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014, instead voting to cut ties with Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

"Secession from an illegitimate regime such as in post-coup Kiev is the ultimate expression of freedom and democracy. US neocons like Nuland twist a struggle for freedom to be an embrace of slavery," McAdams stressed.

He supposes there will be no solution to US opposition to realities on the ground in Crimea any time soon. He emphasized that a "return [of Crimea] to Ukraine is completely out of the question."

The expert claimed that the United States is "again allowing itself to be dragged toward war by neoconservatives and the propaganda of a US media."

"The neocons believe they will profit from a new Cold War, with a boost in military spending and many more well-paid positions in the insidious Washington 'think tanks,'" McAdams explained. "They are playing with fire and once again it is the average American who is at risk of being burned."

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a reunification treaty with Crimean leaders on March 18. The signing launched an integration process that took almost a year, with Crimean voters going to polls for the first time in September to elect their parliaments and local authorities.

Although the West refuses to recognize the results of the referendum calling Crimea's secession an "annexation," Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that it was held in full compliance with democratic procedures and rules of international law.