After the Crimean Supreme Council’s session, at which the decision was made, the lawmakers announced the resolution to people that gathered near the Council’s house. The people reacted with hurrahs and yelled “Russia!”
Addressing the audience at the building of the Supreme Council, one of the deputies said: “Firstly, we’ve taken a decision to be part of the Russian Federation as Russia’s subject. Secondly, the referendum will take place on March 16."
“Crimean residents will be asked: ‘Are you for Crimea’s being part of the Russian Federation?’,” the deputy said, adding that the Supreme Council had also decided to address the Russian leadership to start a procedure for Crimea’s being part of Russia.
Several thousands of people have gathered at the building and have Russian and Crimean flags in their hands.
The explanatory note to the resolution, circulated by the Supreme Council of the Crimea, says that “the developments of February 20104 that took place in Kiev dramatically aggravated the socio-political situation in Ukraine. The nationalist forces that seized the power through a coup are violently infracting the constitution and laws of Ukraine, citizens’ inherent rights and freedoms, including the right to life, freedom of thought and speech, the right to speak the native language. Extremist groups made several attempts to enter Crimea to escalate the situation, the tensions and to unlawfully seize the power”.
The document goes on saying: “Expressing a great concern about the socio-political situation that came up around Crimea, confirming the priority of universal human values, devotion to acknowledged principles and rules of international law, in order to implement the expression of will of the Crimean population and taking into account the lack of legitimate state authorities in Ukraine, in compliance with Paragraph 7, Part 1, Article 18 and Paragraph 3, Part 2, Article 26 of the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC), the Supreme Council of the ARC rules: 1. To join the Russian Federation as a subject; 2. To schedule an all-Crimean referendum for March 16, 2014 (including Sevastopol)”.
The explanatory note says that “the following questions are put up for vote: 1. Do you support the reunification of Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation? 2. Do you support the restoration of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Crimea and Crimea’s status as part of Ukraine?”
President Vladimir Putin has been informed about the decision made by the Supreme Council of the Crimea on joining the Russian Federation as its subject. Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told this to Itar-Tass correspondent on Thursday.
"This news (about Crimean Supreme Council's decision) just arrived, and it has been reported to the President," he said. Peskov provided no further details.
The Crimean legislature’s approval of the idea the peninsula may join Russia is a historical decision, the State Duma’s Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov said. “We are one nation split because of [Communist] party functionaries’ irresponsibility,” said Neverov, secretary of the General Council of the ruling party, United Russia.