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MOSCOW, March 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia would support “a free and democratic choice of the population of Crimea [autonomy within Ukraine] and Sevastopol,” Russian lower house speaker Sergei Naryshkin said at a meeting with the speaker of Crimea’s Supreme Council Volodymyr Konstantinov on Friday.
On Thursday, Crimea’s parliament voted to join the Russian Federation, which is to be confirmed in a referendum.
Crimean residents’ bid to ensure security was understandable, and it was natural that the Crimean authorities wanted to have the approval of the Crimean residents “through a democratic procedure - referendum,” he said, adding that Russia would respect the choice of Crimea.