SIMFEROPOL, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The plans of Ukraine's new authorities to dissolve the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC) have no legal grounds, the Council's Chairman Volodymyr Konstantinov told journalists commenting on a draft resolution registered in the Verkhhovna Rada, on calling an early election of ARC deputies.
"There are no legal grounds now for adoption of this draft resolution. I am stating officially that the lawlessness reigning in the country's top legislature has brought people in Crimea to the streets. They are indignant at the disregard for their opinion by those who refer to themselves as new authoritieis", Konstantinov said. He pointed out that "people are demanding resolute actions from the Crimean authorities to protect the autonomy".
On Tuesday, hundreds of people protesting against the actions of Ukraine's new authorities came to the Crimean parliament building and installed a Russian flag over the central entrance to the building. The flags of Ukraine and Crimea remain hoisted at the building.
The demonstrators, representing local parties and public organizations, demanded that the authorities apply for help to Russia, uphold the rights of the autonomy before the central Ukrainian authorities, and protect the Crimean Berkut special units from the radicals' reprisals and humiliation, and hold a referendum on the status of Crimea.
The protesters chanted "Russia" and "Berkut". In order to get answers to their questions, the protesters tried to enter the parliament building. Speaker Konstantinov, who came out from the building, assured them that "the Crimean authorities will see to it that no harm comes to the Crimea". He said measures to protect the autonomy in the current situation in Ukraine would be considered at a Crimean parliament session scheduled for February 26.
"We have assigned our lawyers and specialists in constitutional law to analyze the latest decisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and give a conclusion on whether they accord with the Constitutions of the country and of the Crimea," the Speaker emphasized. He also noted that the Crimean Berkut would assume the guarding of the legislature building at a request of the parliament presidium. The people who gathered outside the building welcomed his words with acclamation.
Despite the escalation of tension, law enforcement agencies here are in control of the situation and maintain stability, law and order in the Crimea, an ARC government official told Itar-Tass. No clashes or any unlawful actions have been recorded. The ARC government official denied reports that appeared in a number of Ukrainian and foreign media about an alleged destabilization of the situation in Crimea or about armoured vehicles' ostensibly appearing in the streets of Crimean cities.