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Duma asks Putin to take measures towards stabilisation in Crimea

March 01, 2014, 21:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 01, /ITAR-TASS/. The Council of the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, on Saturday, March 1, asked President Vladimir Putin to take measures to stabilise the situation in Crimea and protect people from violence and lawlessness.

“We were alarmed by reports about attempts by armed groups to penetrate different facilities in Crimea and specifically by attempts to seize the building of the Crimean Interior Ministry,” State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said. “Clearly, this has been done for the purpose of destabilising the work of the local authorities and destabilising the social and political situation in Crimea in general.”

The Duma Council adopted two documents on Saturday: a statement on behalf of the lower house, which “voices deep concern about the way the sociopolitical situation in Ukraine is evolving and about the escalation of the political crisis in Ukraine.”

The other document was an appeal to Putin, in which MPs “urge him to take measures to stabilise the situation in Crimea and use all available possibilities to protect the population of Crimea from lawlessness and violence.”

Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Vasilyev of the ruling United Russia party said there were several such possibilities. One is working with international organisations. “There are guarantors and parties, but there is no implementation,” Vasilyev said. “This is a very bad case. This is the removal of the legitimate and internationally recognised authorities basically by means of threats and violence, as we have seen.”

“The attempt to put the situation back onto legal track by the agreement of February 21 [between the opposition and the president of Ukraine] has been basically ignored by the radicals who sought to come to power. They did not need the agreement. They needed to come to power and to some extent create an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear, in which robberies, rape and other law offences are occurring now,” the MP said.

“International institutions must act. That’s obvious. If the violence keeps spreading, if the authorities which claimed responsibility for the situation in Ukraine fail to cope with this situation, the help of international institutions will be needed,” Vasilyev said.

He welcomed the fact that the U.N. Security Council is debating the issue. “Correct conclusions and actions should follow,” he added.

“But if these measures are no different from the agreement of February 21 and people feel fear, then some other solutions will have to be sought, and all politicians are talking about that now,” he said.

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