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MOSCOW, March 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and his counterpart from the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, Aleksei Chalyi, have held a phone conversation, a Moscow city hall spokesman said Friday.
Sobyanin said the Russian capital would provide all necessary assistance to Sevastopol, a city on the Crimean Peninsula which is not part of the Autonomous Ukrainian Republic of Crimea but has the status of a national significance city in Ukraine.
At a briefing, the Moscow mayor gave instructions to relevant departments and committees to draft a resolution of the Moscow government taking into account all problems of Sevastopol and to provide the required funds as soon as possible.
Ukraine has been in political turmoil since its legitimate president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted in a violent uprising in February. He fled Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, appointed an interim head of state, set early presidential elections and approved a new government, which Crimea and Russia do not recognize.
The Sevastopol City Council decided Thursday to hold a referendum on accession to Russia, with 49 deputies out of 50 of those present in the session hall voting for the decision. The public vote will take place on March 16, on the same day that the Crimea will hold a similar referendum of its own.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when First Secretary of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party’s Central Committee, Nikita Khrushchev, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction.