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Ukrainian sailors to get their pay and may leave Crimea after referendum

March 12, 2014, 23:51 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL
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SEVASTOPOL, March 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian Navy sailors will get their pay and may leave Crimea and Sevastopol unhindered after the referendum slated for March 16, in which the residents of the peninsula will have to decide whether they want to join Russia or stay within Ukraine.

“We have the relevant order which suggests that the Ukrainian Navy personnel register with the military authorities. For example, they are at the Ukrainian Navy Headquarters and have doubts about what they should do. They can register with the military authorities without breaking any Ukrainian laws and without even taking a new oath of allegiance,” Sevastopol’s acting Mayor Dmitry Belik told ITAR-TASS and Kryminform news agencies on Wednesday, March 12.

“If they want to leave Crimea and Sevastopol for further military service in Ukrainian military units, they will be paid their salaries and we will pay for their transportation outside Crimea to Chongar,” Belik said.

If they want to stay in Sevastopol and Crimea after the referendum, “there will be no problem,” he added.

“They will serve in military units of the Russian Federation or in the Black Sea Fleet. Everyone will get a job to do,” Belik said. “No one is going to oppress anyone. We will not repeat the foolish things they did in Kiev,” he added.

First Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Rustam Temirgaliyev said the Ukrainian military stationed in Crimea who have not yet sided with its authorities would be allowed to vote in the referendum.

“All citizens of Ukraine staying on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea have a right to come and vote, including the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” he said.

“If Crimea joins Russia as its republic, the Ukrainian military personnel, who have not yet come over to Crimea’s side, and there are only a few of them left, will be able to leave their military units unarmed and go to mainland Ukraine,” Temirgaliyev said.

The referendum will be held on March 16. The decision was adopted by 49 of 50 MPs present at the session.

Two questions will be asked during the referendum:

1. Do you support Crimea’s reunification with Russia as its constituent member?

2. 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 ballots in Sevastopol will also include a question on its accession to Crimea as a city with a special status, he added.

Sevastopol’s City Council ruled on March 6, to hold a referendum on the city’s accession to Russia.

Acting Mayor Belik said Sevastopol would join Russia as its constituent member after the referendum.

“We will hold one referendum with the rest of Crimea, but after it two entities will join Russia as its constituent members: Sevastopol and Crimea. And changes to the constitution will also be made separately,” he said.

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