SIMFEROPOL, March 10, /ITAR-TASS/. The authorities of Crimea (autonomy seeking independence from Ukraine) are engaged in active dialogue with Crimean Tatars and some agreements have already been reached, the peninsula’s Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said on Monday, March 10.
“We have reached certain agreements with them [Crimean Tatars]. My colleagues have told me that they agreed with the offer of positions in the government for their representatives. At a session of the Supreme Soviet [parliament] tomorrow proposals will be put forth on nominations for the post of deputy prime minister and deputy speaker from the Crimean Tatars, as well as to the relevant commission on inter-ethnic relations,” Aksyonov said.
He stressed that Crimean Tatars would also get two ministerial portfolios, which will “practically double” their representation in the new Crimean government.
Aksyonov noted that he was personally conducting negotiations with radical members of Crimean Tatars. “I personally know all leaders of formal and informal organisations. My word of principle would be enough for many of them,” he added.
“We stand for peaceful and friendly co-existence. I know Crimean Tatars better than [Crimean Tatar Majlis (central executive body) leader Refat] Chubarov. There are 800 Crimean Tatars in the Federation of Greco-Roman Wrestling of which I am the president,” Aksyonov said.
He said the Crimean authorities were ready to double the amount of funding for Crimean Tatars. “They will have the same rights as we do, as citizens of Russia do. They will have no preferences over us and neither will we,” he said.
Crimean parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov said the Crimean authorities would abide by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. “We will adhere to the European language charter and in this respect everything will be democratic,” he said.
“We have linguistic differences - Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar and Russian languages. But by no means will we repeat the mistakes and do what the Ukrainian authorities did to us over the past 22 years. We will develop both the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages. We will launch special programmes if need be,” the speaker said.
At the same time, he noted that “more than 80 percent of people speak Russian, and we will take necessary measures to develop the Russian language.