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SIMFEROPOL, March 08 /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea (autonomy within Ukraine) needs one month to go from one jurisdiction to another, its parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov said on Saturday, March 8.
“The transition from one jurisdiction to another is a complex process, but we hope to complete it within a month,” he said. “The people of Crimea will feel like being in their home country by the end of March.”
Speaking of electricity supplies to the peninsula, Konstantinov said its residents were “among the most reliable payers.” “We promise to pay for everything, and if there is a very bad scenario, a completely wild one, we will be prepared to take on these challenges,” he said.
Konstantinov denied assertions that Russia is participating in the preparation of the referendum to be held next week. “We presented Russia with an accomplished fact. They did not expect us to do this, they were at a loss,” he said upon return from Moscow.
When the Crimean delegation visited Russia two weeks ago, there was no question of referendum, let alone accession to Russia, he added.
The Crimean parliament on Thursday, March 6, ruled to hold a referendum on accession to Russia on March 16. Earlier it was scheduled for March 30. Three questions will be asked during the referendum:
1. Do you support Crimea’s reunification with Russia as its constituent member?
3. Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea of 1992 and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?
The Russian Federation Council said it would support Crimea’s decision to join Russia if its people vote so in the referendum.
Konstantinov said Russia insisted on the presence of observers from international organisations at the referendum.
“Russia, our colleagues in the State Duma and the Federation Council believe that they [observers] should be present. They are working on this now, and our electoral commission is working on this, and there will be observers,” the speaker said.