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Crimean leader hails recognition of peninsula’s Russian status by Syria

October 20, 2016, 0:29 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Syrian Parliament Speaker Hadiya Abbas told the Sputnik agency that Syria’s leadership recognizes Crimea as an integral part of Russia

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Crimean head Sergey Aksyonov

Crimean head Sergey Aksyonov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, October 19. /TASS/. Recognition of Crimea’s Russian status by Syria is an open and honest position, Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov said Wednesday on his Facebook page.

"This is an honest, courageous and open position. Crimeans are in solidarity with the Syrian people, who, with Russia’s support, bravely fight terrorism," the statement said.

The West, according to Aksyonov, will sooner or later recognize that "Crimea, by law and by justice, is an integral part of Russia."

Earlier Syrian Parliament Speaker Hadiya Abbas told the Sputnik agency that Syria’s leadership recognizes Crimea as an integral part of Russia.

Crimean State Council chairman Vladimir Konstantinov told journalists that he welcomes the statement of the Syrian leadership on recognition of Crimea part of Russia and believes it to be the start of the process of legalization of the 2014 referendum results.

"We are ready for contacts and are contacting now all reasonable people across the world and are trying to bring home our position. And the fact that the Syrian parliament heard us is only the beginning of the process of legalization of our referendum," Konstantinov said.

Member of the Russian State Duma’s international affairs committee, deputy secretary of the United Russia ruling party’s General Council, Sergey Zheleznyak said Syria’s recognition of the Russian status of Crimea testifies to "special partner-like relations" between Damascus and Moscow, who are "jointly fighting international terrorism".

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russian, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

According to the Crimean and Ukrainian statistics bodies, as of early 2014, Crimea had a population of 1,959,000 people; Sevastopol has a population of 384,000 people.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.

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