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US wants to pit Crimean Tatars against Russians in Crimea — Russian lawmaker

April 06, 2015, 19:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Konstantin Kosachev, the US is using the temporary closure of the Crimean-Tatar ATR TV channel as a pretext for pitting Crimean Tatars against ethnic Russians residing on the peninsula

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© Alexey Pavlishak/TASS

MOSCOW, April 6 /TASS/. The United States is using the temporary closure of the Crimean-Tatar ATR channel in Crimea as a pretext for pitting Crimean Tatars against ethnic Russians residing on the peninsula, Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev wrote in his blog on Monday.

The head of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian parliament) Committee for International Affairs said that the channel’s difficulties with obtaining a new license were not the source of Washington’s concern. "The true reason behind it is a policy of causing intentional indignation (it’s absolutely horrible!) on any subject related to Crimea with an aim to convince the whole world that everything is bad in Crimea now — much worse than it used to be," Kosachev said adding that otherwise the State Department would have noticed a series of closures and bans imposed on the Russian-speaking media by its "fosterling" — the Kiev government; or in the Baltic States.

He described the talk about national discrimination against Crimean Tatars as inappropriate. The Russian authorities made a number of steps to defend the interests of Crimean Tatars shortly after Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on political rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars who are now represented in all bodies of power in Crimea.

"These measures, like many other steps, would be faster and more effective if tensions were not built up over the Crimean-Tatar issue and attempts to pit the people of Crimea against each other were not being made from abroad with an aim to create an ’alarming picture’ in world media," Kosachev went on to say.

The lawmaker also called attention to the fact that concerns about the rights of national minorities in Crimea did not prevent the West from imposing sanctions on the entire population of Crimea rather than the Crimean authorities or Moscow by the hands of the Kiev government. "Imposing a siege, cutting off electricity, drinking water and food supplies; and disruption of the normal work of financial institutions and communications-all this looks more like a trivial revenge for making a historical choice rather than an attempt to return the disposition of Crimean inhabitants. But this convinces the people of Crimea once again that the choice they made is right," Kosachev assumed.

"I am sure that everything will turn out well for Crimean Tatars in a long-term perspective .That can hardly be said about those who are trying to set them against Russia and Russians. But that will also be fair," Kosachev stressed.

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