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Firebrand MP slams Sobchak’s Crimea remark, demanding jail time for socialite

October 25, 11:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An MP calls for criminal proceedings against Ksenia Sobchak, who recently declared her presidential ambitions, for stating that from the standpoint of international law Crimea belonged to Ukraine

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Ksenia Sobchak

Ksenia Sobchak

© Sergey Vedyashkin/ Moscow News Agency photo via AP

MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/.Head of Russia’s Liberal Democratic party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has called for criminal proceedings against TV personality Ksenia Sobchak, who just recently declared her presidential ambitions, for stating that from the standpoint of international law Crimea belonged to Ukraine.

"How come that at a semi-official level a lady comes on the scene eager to participate in the presidential election who says that Crimea is Ukrainian? That’s a crime," Zhirinovsky told the media on Wednesday.

He argues that such a statement alone is sufficient for launching criminal proceedings. "Isn’t there an article in the Criminal Code? The Prosecutor-General must launch a criminal case, the Investigative Committee must do the same and take it to court to have her jailed for five years or so… Imagine what people in Crimea must feel like today. That’s nonsense, but nobody seems to be able to muzzle her," Zhirinovsky said.

The firebrand MP said that Sobchak was not a registered presidential candidate yet so he would be able to lodge a complaint at the Central Election Commission.

"We will send a protest to the CEC. She has no right to conduct a campaign yet. The election will be announced in the middle of December. Only after everyone has been registered, will it be possible to carry on an election campaign," he said.

Earlier, Sobchak said that in her opinion Crimea belonged to Ukraine "from the standpoint of international law" and that Moscow and Kiev should try to mend relations at any cost. Also, she argues that by its consent to incorporate Crimea, Russia violated the Budapest memorandum of 1994.

Russia’s presidential election is scheduled for March 2018. The election campaign will run from December 7 to 17. Several potential candidates have already declared their intention to participate - LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, founder of the Yabloko party and chief of its political committee Grigory Yavlinsky, political scientist, chief of the Center for Social Technologies Andrey Bogdanov, who plans to run from the Communist Party of Social Justice, and TV host Ksenia Sobchak.

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