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Crimean Tatars, authorities discuss plan of events to commemorate deportation victims

May 14, 2014, 17:56 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

"We are going to hold commemorations at a proper level," Sergey Aksyonov assured

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Crimea’s acting Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov

Crimea’s acting Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

SIMFEROPOL, May 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The Crimean authorities and representatives of Crimean Tatars are discussing a plan of commemorative events to be held in Crimea on the Day of Memory for the victims of Stalin’s deportations from the peninsula on May 18, Crimea’s acting Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov said on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, the presidium of Crimea’s State Council issued a statement urging all the peoples residing on the peninsula to hold a general meeting in memory of the deportation victims. It also called on politicians to refrain from speeches.

The organizing committee considers submitting a plan of commemorations on Thursday.

“We are going to hold commemorations at a proper level. Government members and State Council deputies are going to participate in the events,” Aksyonov said.

He added the Crimean authorities were in full control of the situation and had enough forces to ensure security.

Crimea’s acting prime minister said he did not rule out provocations might be staged on the Day of Memory by only external forces.

“We are absolutely sure in the Crimean people. Everything is going to be calm, and we are going to create all the conditions for it. We fear provocations that are unlikely to be staged by Crimean Tatars. We understand that Crimean Tatars are now citizens of Russia. Most of them have already received Russian passports. Today, they do not have the slightest intention to carry out any actions that could raise tensions,” Aksyonov explained.

He believes that forces that are trying to destabilize the situation in Crimea are far away from Russia.

“Events in southeast Ukraine and the desire of Kiev junta’s representatives to destabilize the situation through destructive actions on May 18 are the only things, which could aggravate the situation this time,” Aksyonov said.

“But that will not happen. The authorities have all the levers and resources capable of preventing any encroachments on legality, law and order and public security,” Crimea’s acting prime minister said in conclusion.

Economic reasons rather than ethnicity used to be the root cause behind the protest moods among Crimean Tatars. Their villages do not have light, water or roads.

The Crimean authorities have pledged to give a priority to solving this problem. Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of Crimea’s State Council (parliament), believes that Crimean Tatars found it hard to adapt because a program of development of their settlements had been underfinanced for several years.

“Inconsiderable sums have been allocated for the purpose in the last six years. The picture in (Crimean Tatar) villages is awful,” Konstantinov said in an interview with ITAR-TASS on May 13, noting the Kiev authorities intentionally underfinanced the peninsula when it was part of Ukraine for fear of Crimean separatism.

The Crimean authorities believe it will take 3 or 5 years for Crimea to liquidate its development lag and catch up with other Russian regions with a medium level of development.

“When people in Crimea realize that the authorities are caring for them, all protest moods will disappear,” the Crimean parliament speaker said.

The Crimean authorities are planning to invest about 600 million rubles ($17.2 million) in the development of routes of communication in Crimean Tatars settlements before the year’s end.

The Majilis of the Crimean Tatar People, whose activities financed by Ukraine on order from the West used to be directed against Russia, is now changing its policy towards cooperation with the Crimean authorities.

“The United Russia party is forming a party organization in Crimea. I am so glad that Crimean Tatars have been so active in the process, which is almost completed. Crimean Tatars will be represented in our party in full measure during the early elections to the State Council slated for September,” Konstantinov said.

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