MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called for an impartial, non-politicized approach to the position of Crimean Tatars. It issued a special statement following publications in some Turkish mass media about a Turkish delegation’s unofficial trip to Crimea at the end of April.
"We are forced to state that of late there have been ever more frequent attempts to use the Crimean Tatars as a tool for groundless criticism of the efforts being taken by the Russian authorities in Crimea," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "There have been repeated allegations about ‘mass abductions of Crimean Tatars and ‘numerous illegal searches and arrests of Crimean Tatars’ activists’."
"We are aware of the Turkish side’s attention to the position of Crimean Tatars," the Foreign Ministry said. "In that connection the authorities of Crimea have done their utmost to let the unofficial delegation from Turkey receive the fullest impartial information about today’s life of the Crimean Tatars."
"By and large we welcome the delegation’s visit to the Peninsula," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "We believe that such meetings help shatter propagandistic myths and artificially created stereotypes distorting the real situation regarding the position of Crimean Tatars. For our part we are urging impartial and non-politicized approach to this matter."
The Foreign Ministry said that "in the peninsula a campaign is in full swing for creating a full-scale ethnic and cultural autonomy of the Crimean Tatars, which was very hard to imagine during Crimea’s ‘Ukrainian period."
"The language of the Crimean Tatars was recognized as a state language of the Republic of Crimea alongside Russian and Ukrainian. The Crimean Tatars’ priority problems are not politicized, but have a clear social, humanitarian and economic nature, such as the legal formalization of plots of land, farming, supply of raw materials and the cultural development of the Crimean Tatars’ community.".