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Crimean Tatars should not be small coin in disputes between Russia and Ukraine — Putin

May 16, 2014, 15:40 UTC+3 SOCHI
The Russian president pledged Russia would do everything to make Crimean Tatars feel full-fledged owners of their land
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

SOCHI, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that it was wrong to turn Crimean Tatars into a small coin in settling disputes between Russia and Ukraine.

“Under no circumstances can we allow that Crimean Tatars become a small coin in disputes, especially in inter-state disputes such like the one between Russia and Ukraine,” Putin said at a meeting with representatives of the Crimean Tatars.

“I should call your attention to one thing. We, including the federal authorities, regional and local power bodies, are ready to work with all people who genuinely, I would like to note that specially, want to improve the life of people on their land,” Putin said at a meeting with representatives of Crimean Tatars.

“Nevertheless, under no circumstances can we allow that Crimean Tatars become a small coin in disputes, especially in inter-state disputes such as the one between Russia and Ukraine,” Putin stressed.

The Russian head of state stressed it was impossible to drag Crimean Tatars who had suffered immensely in previous decades in any new disputes. He called on all forces who were trying to use the Crimean Tatar factor to their advantage that the interest of Crimean Tatars was now closely linked to Russia.

“It is impossible to use the Crimean Tatar factor to defend the interests of other, third, countries,” the president emphasized, saying that would do nothing but harm to Crimean Tatars.

Putin pledged Russia would do everything to make Crimean Tatars feel full-fledged owners of their land.

“Naturally, we will be unable to do that effectively without Crimean Tatars and the people who really want to develop these territories. We will also need the support of people who live there,” Putin explained.

“This, in fact, concerns representatives of all other ethnic groups residing in Crimea, including ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and other repressed peoples: Greeks, Bulgarians and Germans,” Putin said.

'Person's ethnic identity is no problem for career in Russia'

At the meeting with Crimean Tatars on Friday, Putin said that the individual's ethnic identity is usually not a problem for building a successful career in Russia, on the whole.

“Russia is a large country and there are lots of opportunities for high-qualified specialists here,” Putin said in response to a complaint from a participant in the meeting that in the Soviet Union it was hard for Crimean Tatars even for those who had graduated from the schools of higher learning to find a job.

“And, take my word for it, here in Russia on the whole - because I don’t know how the things stood in Crimea before [when it was part of Ukraine] - so here in Russia nobody pays any attention to a former entry in a passport, which said 'nationality',” he said.

Vladimir Putin pledged that Russia has enough resources for untangling daily problems of the Crimean Tatars and the entire population of Crimea.

“The fact that the problems have remained unsolved was connected with the economic situation in Ukraine, with Crimea being made technically a budget-receiving region,” Putin said at a meeting with Crimean Tatars on Friday.

“It wasn't done on purpose or because life was too good but the reason was to support with finance other regions that were in a more difficult situation,” he said.

“We have resources, the government has reserves that surpass all of Crimea’s needs for this year as well as for the forthcoming years,” the president said calling on the participants “to professionally elaborate the program of Crimea’s development.”

“No money is ever too much,” Putin said. “Economical, efficient approach is welcome and all the interests of Crimean Tatars are to be incorporated in the program.

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