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Lawmakers in the parliament in Crimea voted on March 6 for that Ukrainian peninsula to join Russia and hold a referendum on endorsing the decision. Several lawmakers opposing the move, however, say they were either not notified or physically barred from entering the parliament building to cast their vote. RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Dmitry Volchek spoke to one of them: Leonid Pilunsky, of the faction Qurultay-Rukh.
RFE/RL: Did you take part in today's vote?
Pilunsky: Of course not. They didn't let me in. Even yesterday I couldn't get close, the building is entirely cordoned off by people acting aggressively. There are many faces there that I've never seen. They are rumored to be Kuban Cossacks....
According to our information, there was no quorum. All these decisions resemble a schizophrenic outburst....
Crimean Tatars will categorically refuse to be part of Russia. They have just started returning home and settling down after more than 50 years in exile.
RFE/RL: You said there would inevitably be resistance to Russian rule in Crimea. What would this resistance look like?
Pilunsky: It will depend on what kind of draconian measures they decide to slap on the population.
RFE/RL: Ukrainian military bases are already refusing to lay down their weapons.
Pilunsky: Of course they are refusing. [Russian forces] are behaving like Nazi troops, asking people to surrender. That's exactly what's happening here. Suddenly, people in an independent state are asked to hand over their weapons. All this brings many sad, unhappy thoughts. You start wondering what kind of place you live in and whether this really is the 21st century.
Under the Russian-Ukrainian Partition Treaty determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea – signed in 1997 and prolonged in 2010 - Russia is allowed to have up to 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems (with a caliber smaller than 100 mm), 132 armored vehicles, and 22 military planes, on the peninsula’s territory. The Russian Black Sea fleet is allowed to stay in Crimea until 2042. Moscow annually writes off $97.75 million of Kiev’s debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters and radio frequencies, and to compensate for the Black Sea Fleet’s environmental impact.
Finally, we need to toughen control over foreign citizens’ purposes for entering the country; all civilized countries do that. The country has to know what a foreigner comes to Russia for and how long he plans to stay here for. Apart from that, we have to address the problem with those foreigners who have entered the country visa-free and are staying here for a long time without certain purpose. They claim to have no certain purposes but apparently they do have some – it is just that the government remains unaware.
We have always been proud of our country. But we don’t have superpower aspirations; we don’t want global or regional domination, we don’t interfere with anyone’s interests, trying to play a patron, we are not going to lecture others.
But we will strive to be leaders by defending international law, making sure that national sovereignty, independence and identity are respected. This is a natural approach for a country like Russia with its great history and culture, its vast experience in the area of different ethnicities living in harmony, side by side, in one state.
The Crimea obviously wants to be a separate country like the Ukraine separated from Mother Russia. So in fact, what is actually wrong with that?
Russian speakers make up about 60% of Crimea's population of more than 2 million, but around a quarter are Ukrainian and 12% are Crimean Tatar, a predominately Muslim minority. Neither of the latter two groups would welcome a switch to Russian control.
reply to post by Xcathdra
So I don't get it, why do you find it so bothersome that majority of Crimeans will vote to join Russian Federation.
Did it ever occur to you that these people are interested in good salaries, job security, oil and gas on tap.
For Christ's sake man, this isn't just politics, this is feeding yourself and your family.
Who could blame them for not wanting to go down with the Bankrupt Ship that Kiev is.
This article is bad journalism in its finest.
Sensetionalist title with no substance, plus reference to Nazis all over again.
So we have one member of the Crimean parliament saying he didn't vote and there was no quorum.
Where's the rest of the info?
1. How many lawmakers were present in the time of voting?
2. Are they all the members of the parliament and have the right to vote?
3. How many seats are in parliament?
4. What is the minimum number for quorum?
5. What is the system for voting?
6. Yay - Nay in numbers?
And I'm sure I left out more relevant questions but can't remember atm.
After these questions are answered, we can draw our conclusions, oterwise like I said it's blatant propaganda with stupid article title!