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Upper house of Russian parliament to discuss Crimea’s integration into legal system

March 23, 2015, 2:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The Federation Council will discuss the process of Crimea’s integration into Russia’s legal system as part of Days of Crimea that start Monday in the upper house of Russia’s parliament.

According to Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, after reunification of Crimea with Russia, legislators "had to create a new legislative framework for a very short period." She said nine federal constitutional laws and 50 federal laws have been adopted over the past year; 156 laws have been adopted by Crimea’s legislative assembly and 124 by the legislative assembly of Sevastopol.

Issues of further economic and social development of Crimean regions will be discussed at meetings of relevant committees with participation of representatives of Crimea’s state power bodies.

In particular, the meeting of the Federation Council’s committee on budget and financial markets will consider problems of citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol on compensation of deposits set up in Ukrainian banks and on repayment of loans received in Ukraine’s lending institutions.

An extended meeting of the economic policy committee will focus on discussing Crimea’s energy security.

Federation Council Deputy Speaker Galina Karelova said the republic has its projects to create its own generation to ensure the peninsula’s energy independence. She said the federal targeted program "Social and economic development of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol until 2020" envisions 49 billion rubles ($826.3 million) on Crimea’s power industry development.

Crimea's reunification with Russia

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

Crimea had joined the Russian Empire in 1783, when it was conquered by Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine and remained in that capacity until March 2014, when it reunified with Russia after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

According to the Crimean and Ukrainian statistics bodies, as of early 2014, Crimea had a population of 1,959,000 people; Sevastopol has a population of 384,000 people.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.

Western nations have subjected Russia to sanctions over the situation in Ukraine. Russia has constantly dismissed accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after the referendum in mid-March 2014, as well as allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in the southeast of Ukraine.

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