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Crimean PM urges Ukrainian servicemen to swear allegiance to Crimeans or leave peninsula

March 19, 2014, 20:16 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
"In a bid to avoid bloodshed and further escalation of tensions, I am calling on Ukrainian military based on the peninsula not to yield to provocation," Sergey Aksyonov said
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Sergey Aksyonov

Sergey Aksyonov

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Djaparidze

SIMFEROPOL, March 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov called on Ukrainian servicemen on Wednesday not to yield to provocation, lay down arms and swear their allegiance to the people of Crimea, the CrimeaInform agency reports.

“In a bid to avoid bloodshed and further escalation of tensions, I am calling on Ukrainian military based on the peninsula not to yield to provocation, make a clear choice and swear their allegiance to the Crimean people,” Aksyonov, who is commander-in-chief of the Crimean Armed Forces, said in his address to Ukrainian servicemen based in Crimea.

Servicemen preferring to stay in the Ukrainian army will have to voluntarily surrender their weapons and leave their military units stationed in the Crimean territory, Aksyonov said, warning that those who did not follow his orders would be prosecuted.

Aksyonov’s address followed Tuesday’s provocation in Simferopol, in which two people died.

The Crimean prime minister urged the people of Crimea “to stay vigilant and calm.

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