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Crimean parliament’s decision to hold referendum is legitimate right

February 27, 2014, 19:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Deputy chair of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs says the decision to hold a referendum is fully consistent with the constitutional norms and is absolutely lawful
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MOSCOW, February 27, 18:24 /ITAR-TASS/. The decision of the Crimean parliament to hold a referendum on the future of the autonomy is its right, and it is too early to comment on its possible outcome, Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma's Committee on CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, lower house of the Russian parliament, said on Thursday, February 27.

“It is the right of the Supreme Council of Crimea,” he said. “We could expect such a decision in the current situation in Kiev and the Crimea.”

Slutsky said that Russia would decide how to respond to the results of the referendum if it were held. “It is an unthankful job to predict such an outcome or make any comments. Moreover, this may lead to provocations. The degree of tensions in Ukraine, including Kiev, Crimea and other regions, is very high, and we will wait for the referendum,” Slutsky said.

Tatyana Moskaltsova, deputy chair of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, stressed that “although the Constitution of 2004 has been restored, and the status of Crimea is clearly stated there, the decision to hold a referendum is fully consistent with the constitutional norms and is absolutely lawful. "It is very important how exactly the main question in the referendum is stated and whether it concerns the status of the autonomy or expansion of its powers,” she said.

Moskaltsova believes that the Crimean parliament’s decision was prompted by the fact that “Kiev is exerting pressure on the Crimea and forcing upon it decisions that dilute the status of the Crimea, which was determined by the Constitution of 2004 and subsequent decisions reached between Kiev and the Crimea.”

“This is why people worry about their legal status and about the status of government bodies and their powers,” she added.

“Crimea rightfully believes that Ukraine is sliding into complete chaos, anarchy and economic catastrophe. In this situation the people of Crimea should assume responsibility for the fate of their autonomy and determine their status,” the MP said.

Earlier in the day, the Crimean parliament adopted the decision to conduct a referendum on the status of the autonomy and expansion of its powers.

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