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Soldiers of Ukrainian army garrisons stationed in Crimea come over to autonomy's side

March 03, 2014, 20:44 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
Similar processes had been underway in the Feodosiya, Simferopol and Perevalinsky garrisons where a considerable number of servicemen had wished to join the self-defense forces
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

SIMFEROPOL, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. A huge of number of soldiers from Ukrainian garrisons blocked by Crimean self-defense forces in the north Crimean town of Feodosiya and the village of Perekopskoye near Simferopol have been coming over to the side of the Crimean autonomy, Crimea’s First Vice-Premier Rustam Temirgaliyev said on Monday.

Temirgaliyev noted that similar processes had been underway in the Feodosiya, Simferopol and Perevalinsky garrisons where a considerable number of servicemen had wished to join the self-defense forces on Monday.

“At present, servicemen have been quitting the Ukrainian army in huge amounts. Dozens of soldiers are ready to be sworn in to the loyalty of the people of Crimea. Today, we are welcoming the soldiers who are leaving the Ukrainian army. We are offering them to join Crimea’s people’s self-defense units instead,” Rustam Temirgaliyev went on to say.

Temirgaliyev, however, has described the situation in Crimea as generally calm. No armed conflicts have been registered in the autonomy’s territory, he said.

“Despite hysteria in Ukraine’s central media, the situation on peninsula remains absolutely calm. No conflicts have flared up in Crimea over the past 24 hours. Crimea has preserved its inter-ethnic peace,” Temirgaliyev went on to say.

“Not a single armed conflict has been registered in the Crimea. The ‘Crimean spring’ is kind and absolutely peaceful,” the first vice-premier added.

Speaking about Crimean Tatars and their role in the Crimean crisis, Temirgaliyev noted that Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of Tatarstan, could act as an intermediary at negotiations between the Crimean authorities and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.

“We are discussing whether Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of Tatarstan, can act as a guarantor of agreements between the Crimean government and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. We are in the process of discussion and we hope to reach some kind of agreement in two or three days. We will have no grounds for threatening inter-ethnic peace and accord in the autonomy,” Temirgaliyev told journalists after talks with the Tatar community leaders.

Temirgaliyev said that the Crimean authorities had pledged to allocate 240 million hryvnias ($24 million) before the end of 2014 for a program to support previously deported people. The sides agreed on the support sum on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Crimean authorities said that their aim was to cooperate with the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. They offered several key posts in the Council of Ministers (government) and Crimea’s Supreme Council, including the posts of a vice-premier, two ministers and deputies in a number of ministries, to the Tatar community leaders.

Kamil Samigullin, the head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Tatarstan, met the leaders of the Tatar community in Crimea last Sunday. He urged them to seek a peaceful settlement to the situation in the autonomy.

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