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Ukraine sets up new government body to deal with Crimean affairs

September 28, 2015, 17:58 UTC+3 KIEV

According to the resolution, Crimea is seen as "temporarily occupied territory"

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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinskiy

KIEV, September 28. /TASS/. Ukraine’s authorities have established a new government body to deal with Crimean affairs, according to a government resolution made public on Monday.

The new state service is tasked to "defend the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens living in this territory and protect state assets," the resolution said.

Among other tasks are "to create conditions for the free development of the Crimean Tatar language and the languages of other indigenous people." According to the resolution, Crimea is seen as "temporarily occupied territory."

Amid a political crisis and the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council (parliament) and Sevastopol’s City Council adopted on March 11, 2014 Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s declaration of independence. A referendum on reunification with Russia was held on March 16, 2014. With a record-breaking turnout of 80%, the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s and Sevastopol residents, mostly ethic Russians, (96.7 and 95.6%, respectively) voted in favour of ceding from Ukraine to join Russia. After the treaty of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia was approved by the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin on March 21, 2014 signed a federal law on admitting two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation.

Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have been refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.

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