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PM Konstantinov: Crimea to change name

March 11, 2014, 23:46 updated at: March 12, 2014, 0:52 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
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SIMFEROPOL, March 11, /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea will not be called the Autonomous Ukrainian Republic of Crimea but the Republic of Crimea following the adoption by Crimea’s parliament, the Supreme Council, of a declaration of independence on March 11, Supreme Council speaker Vladimir Konstantinov said.

“We have made an important decision, adopted an important document. We state that we have the status of a republic, we declare us the Republic of Crimea,” Konstantinov told journalists.

A high-ranking source in the Crimean government said the word “autonomous” would be removed from the websites of official Crimean power bodies on March 11.

It will take time, he said, adding that “the decision has been made and it will be implemented” anyway.

Crimea’s parliament adopted earlier on Tuesday a declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a national significance city in Ukraine on the Crimean Peninsula. Russia said the decision was legitimate.

Crimea’s Supreme Council on March 6 decided that the autonomous Ukrainian republic would secede from Ukraine and join Russia as its constituent member. The issue was put to a referendum that would take place on March 16.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction. In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine.

Crimea had the name of the Republic of Crimea in 1992, when it had its own Constitution and broader autonomy.

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