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Parliament speaker: Crimea’s Constitution could be drafted within two weeks

March 22, 2014, 5:39 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
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SIMFEROPOL, March 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The Constitution of Crimea, a former Ukrainian region that became part of Russia on March 18, could be drafted within two weeks, Crimean State Council (parliament) speaker Vladimir Konstantinov said.

“The work to draft the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, I hope, will end within two weeks. Specialists from the Russian Federation will be employed, and I am convinced we will soon approve a draft Constitution,” Konstantinov told journalists after a meeting of the State Council Presidium on Friday.

He said the Crimean authorities are ready to form the entire political structure of the republic, adding that all Russian parties represented in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, will be represented in Crimea.

The Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum on March 16, in which it decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, and subsequently signed a treaty with Moscow on Crimea's accession to the Russian Federation on March 18. Russia’s upper house of parliament ratified it on Friday.

Putin and other officials have repeatedly stated that the Crimean referendum was in full conformity with the international law and the UN Charter, and also in line with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008.

The developments came amid political turmoil in Ukraine, where a coup occurred in February following months of anti-government protests that often turned violent. President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Russia considers Yanukovich Ukraine’s legitimate leader and does not recognize the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities. Nor do Crimea’s leaders recognize them.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction. In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine.

Crimea had its own Constitution in the early 1990s. In 1995, Ukraine’s parliament canceled Crimea’s Constitution.

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