SIMFEROPOL, April 02, /ITAR-TASS/. The first deputy prime minister of Crimea, a former Ukrainian region that became part of Russia last month, has said he reacted calmly to reports that he was put on a wanted list by Ukraine’s new self-proclaimed authorities.
“We in Crimea have already got used to abnormal actions of the Kiev authorities that we deem illegitimate. Following their logic, 97 percent of Crimeans who voted for reunification with Russia should be put on a wanted list and arrested,” Rustam Temirgaliyev told Itar-Tass.
The first deputy premier said such actions of the new Ukrainian authorities will only unite Crimeans.
Media reports said the Ukrainian Security Service put Temirgaliyev on a wanted list, and a Ukrainian court ruled that he should be detained and brought to the court to choose a measure of restraint.
The Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum on March 16 in which an overwhelming majority of voters decided for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. A relevant deal with Moscow was signed on March 18.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian 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.
Despite that, Ukraine’s new authorities and the West have denounced the Crimean plebiscite claiming it was illegal, and have refused to recognize Crimea part of Russia.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.