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Lawmakers to consider package of bills on Crimea's joining Russia

March 20, 2014, 4:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, March 20, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lawmakers will meet at an extraordinary session on Thursday to consider the presidential package of bills on Crimea's reunification with Russia. The documents under review are an inter-state treaty and a constitutional bill on the creation of two new constituent members of the Russian Federation.

On Tuesday, the Russian parliament's committee on CIS affairs unanimously recommended to ratify "the Crimean treaty," signed in the Kremlin on March 18, while the house committee on constitutional legislation and state development recommended to approve all the readings of the bill on Crimea and Sevastopol's joining Russia.

The treaty applies upon signature and enters into force from the date of ratification.

Elections in Crimea and Sevastopol will be held on the second Sunday of September 2015. The State Council of Crimea /parliament/, the government of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council will continue to perform their functions until then.

Russia's land border with Ukraine will run along the boundaries of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as of the date of joining Russia. The delimitation of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is carried out on the basis of Russia's international treaties and norms and principles of international law.

The treaty provides for granting automatic Russian citizenship to Crimean Ukrainians. However, it gives a one-month transitional period to those in Crimea wishing to keep Ukrainian passport, to inform the local authorities about such plans.

Meanwhile, the transitional period in Crimea related to reintegration into Russia will be effective until January 1, 2015, to settle the issue of integration of the new constituent members in Russia's economic, financial, credit and legal systems and in the system of government bodies, as well as the issues of military service in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. Until then, conscripts from Crimea and Sevastopol will serve on the peninsula.

The official languages of the Republic of Crimea are Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

"The bill is a very good road map for how government bodies of the two new RF members should begin to function," chairman of the State Duma committee on state development Vladimir Pligin said.

All the factions at the State Duma said they would support "the Crimean package."

House speaker Sergei Naryshkin, in comments upon the upcoming review on the documents, called the reunification of Crimea and Russia a historic and pivotal event for world history. "Of course, it's a benchmark stage not only in the history of modern Russia, but also in the centuries-old history of all our Fatherland," he said. "I can suppose that it is a pivotal event in world history, a breakthrough in the confrontation between good and evil."

"The entire history of Crimea - these past 23 years - has been a record of painful expectations for reunification," the speaker said. "We have to acknowledge that after 1993, Russia kept losing its territories and people, and now we’re bringing back territories and our compatriots for the first time.

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