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Vladimir Konstantinov: Crimea hopes to remain a parliamentary republic if it joins Russia

March 09, 2014, 22:37 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

A referendum on Crimea’s future status will take place on March 16, two weeks earlier than initially planned

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© ITAR-TASS/Метцель Михаил

SIMFEROPOL, March 09, /ITAR-TASS/. Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the Crimean parliament, hopes that Crimea will remain a parliamentary republic if it becomes part of Russia.

“This parliamentary republic is hard won. So we would like Crimea to preserve this parliamentary status if it joins Russia,” Konstantinov told journalists on Sunday.

He added that the president’s office was currently operating in Crimea. “We hope to preserve it too,” Konstantinov said, noting that all state institutions - the state border service, the army, the fleet and the security service - would report to Russia in case Crimea became its integral part.

A referendum on Crimea’s future status will take place on March 16, two weeks earlier than initially planned.

The Crimean referendum and the complicated socio-political situation in Ukraine were the central themes of President Vladimir Putin’s telephone conversations with British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier on Sunday.

The Russian president defended the actions of the legitimate authorities in Crimea who were taking steps to ensure the lawful interests of Crimea’s population in full compliance with international law.

“The Russian president also called his interlocutors’ attention to the fact that the current authorities in Kiev were doing nothing to curb the rampage of ultra-nationalist and radical forces in the Ukrainian capital and in many other regions,” the Kremlin press service reported on Sunday.

“Despite the existing differences in the assessment of what’s going on, the sides expressed common interest in the de-escalation of tensions and the earliest normalization of the situation on the peninsula,” the Kremlin press service went on to say.

The Russian, British and German leaders discussed possible international efforts which could be exerted to settle the crisis and agreed to continue close working contacts, including at the level of foreign ministers, the Kremlin press service emphasized.

Konstantinov said that most of Ukraine’s military units stationed in Crimea reported to the Crimean authorities.

“Most of Ukraine’s military units have come over under our control. They have pledged not to use force. We believe that we fully control the situation,” the speaker went on to say.  According to Konstantinov, if Crimea becomes part of Russia, the servicemen, who want to, will be able to serve in the Russian army upon being sworn in and upon completion of certain legal formalities.

“If not, they will be free to leave Crimea,” Konstantinov explained.

Commenting on reports that the Ukrainian troops were allegedly moving towards Crimea, Konstantinov said that the Crimean authorities were ready to repel any provocations.  “They (the Ukrainian authorities) are doing everything in a manner that makes any other political option for us impossible. We are receiving 300 sms with threats every day,” Konstantinov said.

He assured that people would have no problems related to property rights if Crimea was transferred under the Russian jurisdiction.

“There will be no problems with property. We are ready for this kind of provocations. There will be no problems with property or pensions,” the Crimean parliament speaker emphasized.

However, he admitted that a certain transitional period would be necessary but promised that it would be maximum short.

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