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MOSCOW, 5 March. /TASS/. Allegations of the former leader of Mejlis (the body representing Crimea’s Muslim minority, Crimean Tatars), Mustafa Dzhemilev, about arrests of Crimean Tatars in the Black Sea peninsula are groundless and distort the real situation there, the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday commenting on Dzhemilev’s interview with a French magazine.
Alexander Lukashevich cited Dzhemilev’s remark from the interview as saying that "98% of Crimean Tatars want Crimea to reunite with Ukraine since they have to live in a regime of terror created by occupational authorities."
"Our Western partners carry out a policy of imprinting Dzhemilev as Crimean Tatars’ mouthpiece into the international public opinion," he said. "Provocative activities of this person backed by Western sponsors along with his anti-Russian statements on international floors do not ensure Crimean Tatars’ quiet and prosperous life and lead to sharpening of inter-ethnic relations in the peninsula."
"Dzhemilev has gotten busy after his appointment as Ukraine presidential envoy in charge of Crimea Tatars’ affairs," Alexander Lukashevich said. "He is seeking to create a dangerous hotbed of separatism in Crimea and thus to replace the idea of national and cultural identity of local Tatars with the national and territorial one."
"At present he is making attempts to push an idea of Crimean Tatars’ resettlement into Ukraine’s Kherson region and placing Crimea’s local governmental bodies in exile there," he said.
"All his statements distort the reality and show his uprooting from the ground in Crimea. It is an attempt to stoke inter-ethnic tensions in the peninsula," he said adding Dzhemilev had no support among Crimean Tatars.
Last spring Russia denied entry to Russia for five years for leaders of Crimean Tatars’ Mejlis, including Dzhemilev on the list.
Crimea’s Prosecutor General Natalia Poklonskaya said that it had helped to prevent certain persons from trying to incite inter-ethnic hatred.
Last February a Moscow district court upheld the federal agencies’ decision that had denied Dzhemilev entry to Russia, noting it was done "with an aim of ensuring the country’s defence capacity and security along with public tranquillity."
In February 2014 representatives of the public organisation Mejlis of Crimean Tatars had staged a demonstration calling for violence at the building of the local parliament in the Crimean capital Simferopol ahead of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Two people were killed and another six got bodily injuries in the mass riots then.