Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with then-United States National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2018 that former United States president Barack Obama told him in 2014 that the confrontation over Ukraine could be resolved if Russia went no further than annexing the Crimea. Bolton made this claim in his memoirs, the Ukrainian News Agency reports. According to Bolton, the meeting took place in late June 2018 during his visit to Russia to prepare for a meeting between Trump and Putin. "He (Putin) said that Obama had told him clearly in 2014 that if Russia went no further than annexing Crimea, the Ukraine confrontation could be settled," Bolton writes. According to Bolton, Putin took a very hard line on Ukraine. “Putin took a very hard line on Ukraine, discussing in detail the conflict’s political and military aspects. Moving to a more confrontational tone, he said U.S. military sales to Ukraine were illegal, and that such sales were not the best way to resolve the issue. He refused even to discuss Crimea, dismissing it as now simply part of the historical record,” Bolton writes. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Bolton served as United States President Donald Trump’s national security advisor from 2018 to 2019. Russia annexed the Crimea in February-March 2014 after the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv forced then-president Viktor Yanukovych to flee. The international community did not recognize the annexation. Fighting between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed separatists began in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in April.