26 February, 14:52

People of Crimea have right to express their will - Russian MP

People of Crimea have right to express their will - Russian MP

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the international affairs committee of the Russian State Duma, said he believes that the majority of residents of Crimea do not like the new Ukrainian democracy.

"The majority of the population of Crimea definitely do not want to stay in the 'new' Bandera-inspired Ukrainian democracy," Pushkov said on Twitter on Wednesday.

"If the West has recognized the Kyiv Maidan as 'the mouthpiece of the people of Ukraine,' they should also recognize that the people of Crimea have a right to express their will," Pushkov said.

Ukraine: OSCE for peaceful settlement in Crimea; protesters want autonomy and urge for referendum

All 57 member-countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) support only peaceful settlement of a tense situation in the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea, head of the Ukrainian Security Service Valentin Nalivaichenko said after talks with OSCE Special Representative for Ukraine Tim Guldimann in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday.

"All 57 OSCE states come out in support of only peaceful settlement of the situation in the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea," Nalivaichenko noted.

"Each OSCE state, including Russia, is prepared to support peaceful settlement and not to permit encroachments on territorial integrity of Ukraine, which had just ended its OSCE rotating presidency. A common intention of OSCE states is to promote peaceful settlement of the situation," he added.

The situation in the Crimea has deteriorated after protesters re-elected the Simferopol mayor and demanded integration in Russia on February 23.

Demonstrators put Russian flag on Crimean Supreme Council building in Simferopol

Participants in a protest demonstration organized by pro-Russian Cossack organizations in Crimea have put a Russian flag on the Crimean Supreme Council building in Simferopol.

As the flag pole for the Ukrainian and Crimean flags is located on the rooftop, the demonstrators attached the Russian flag to the letters on the building's facade.

Protesters are calling for ignoring what they see as illegal resolutions by the new Ukrainian authorities.

A group of protesters blocked the central entrance to the Crimean parliament, and so lawmakers and secretariat workers had to leave the building through side exits.

Plans of new authorities to dissolve Supreme Council of Crimea have no legal grounds

The plans of Ukraine's new authorities to dissolve the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC) have no legal grounds, the Council's Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov told journalists commenting on a draft resolution registered in the Verkhhovna Rada, on calling an early election of ARC deputies.

"There are no legal grounds now for adoption of this draft resolution. I am stating officially that the lawlessness reigning in the country's top legislature has brought people in Crimea to the streets. They are indignant at the disregard for their opinion by those who refer to themselves as new authoritieis", Konstantinov said.

He pointed out that "people are demanding resolute actions from the Crimean authorities to protect the autonomy".

On Tuesday, hundreds of people protesting against the actions of Ukraine's new authorities came to the Crimean parliament building and installed a Russian flag over the central entrance to the building. The flags of Ukraine and Crimea remain hoisted at the building.

The demonstrators, representing local parties and public organizations, demanded that the authorities apply for help to Russia, uphold the rights of the autonomy before the central Ukrainian authorities, and protect the Crimean Berkut special units from the radicals' reprisals and humiliation, and hold a referendum on the status of Crimea.

The Speaker said measures to protect the autonomy in the current situation in Ukraine would be considered at a Crimean parliament session scheduled for February 26.

"We have assigned our lawyers and specialists in constitutional law to analyze the latest decisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and give a conclusion on whether they accord with the Constitutions of the country and of the Crimea," the Speaker emphasized.

He also noted that the Crimean Berkut would assume the guarding of the legislature building at a request of the parliament presidium. The people who gathered outside the building welcomed his words with acclamation.

Despite the escalation of tension, law enforcement agencies here are in control of the situation and maintain stability, law and order in the Crimea, an ARC government official said.

No clashes or any unlawful actions have been recorded.

The ARC government official denied reports that appeared in a number of Ukrainian and foreign media about an alleged destabilization of the situation in Crimea or about armoured vehicles' ostensibly appearing in the streets of Crimean cities.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS

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