MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian State Duma has adopted in first reading and a whole the federal constitutional law on Crimea’s admission to the Russian Federation and on creating new sub-federal entities — the Republic of Crimea and the city of federal significance Sevastopol. In the final reading, 445 parliamentarians casted affirmative votes and one deputy voted against the bill submitted by the president. The only lawmaker that did not support the document was member of A Just Russia party Ilya Ponomaryov.
The lawmakers have also ratified the interstate treaty on the admission of Crimea into Russia. The treaty, ratified by a 443-1 vote with no abstentions, was signed at the Kremlin on March 18 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Crimean State Council Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov and Sevastopol Mayor Aleksei Chaliy.
After the lawmakers backed the documents, the Russian national anthem was played in the plenary sessions’ hall. The anthem is traditionally played only on the opening and closing sessions of the lower house of Russian parliament.
The decision to admit Crimea into Russia is based on the results of the all-Crimea referendum held on March 16, 2014, in which people supported re-unification of Crimea with Russia as its constituent member, the declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and the treaty between Russia and Crimea on the latter’s admission into the Russian Federation and the formation of new constituent members within it.
The republic is considered admitted into the Russian Federation as from March 18, the date of the treaty’s signing. From this day on, the citizens of Ukraine and stateless persons permanently residing at that moment on the territory of the Republic of Crimea and in Sevastopol are considered citizens of Russia. In addition, a deadline of one month is set, during which the Crimeans wishing to keep Ukrainian passports should notify about it.
The official languages of the Republic of Crimea are Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.
After the lower house of parliament supported the documents, they are submitted to the Federation Council. The senators are expected to review the documents at an extraordinary session on March 21.
The law will come into effect from when comes into effect the treaty between Russia and the Republic of Crimea on the republic’s admission into the Russian Federation and on creation of new sub-federal entities. At present, the treaty is implemented temporarily, from the date of signing, and will come into effect from the date of ratification.