SIMFEROPOL, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Starting Thursday representatives of the Crimean Tatars are taking part in drafting of the new Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, republic’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Lenur Islyamov told CrimeaInform news agency.
Islyamov, who was delegated to his current post by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, said two Crimean Tatar representatives are working on the draft of the Constitution
“We want our interests to be taken into account [by the Constitution],” Islyamov said adding that in general the Constitution should answer interests of all residents of Crimea, no matter what nationality they belong to.
According to Ukrainian state statistics service data, as of late 2013, Crimean Tatars accounted for 12.1%, Russians for 58.5%, Ukrainians for 24.3%, Belarusians for 1.4% and Armenians for 1.1% of the Crimean population.
Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the then Soviet Communist Party’s leader, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction.
In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine. In 1992, it was renamed the Republic of Crimea. It received broader autonomy, adopted its Constitution and introduced the post of republic president. In 1995, the Verkhovnaya Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, cancelled Crimea’s Constitution and abolished the post of Crimea’s president.
In 1998, Crimea’s new Constitution entered into force and the Republic of Crimea was renamed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, part of Ukraine. Crimea remained in that capacity until March 2014.
Following the March 16, 2014 referendum at which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted for leaving Ukraine and joining Russia, Crimea declared its independence from Kiev. On March 18, 2014, Crimea’s authorities signed a treaty with Moscow on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation.