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Abkhazian prime minister to meet with Crimean leaders

December 21, 2015, 9:39 UTC+3
The authorities of Abkhazia were among the first in March 2014 to say they support and recognize the referendum on Crimea’s self-determination
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Balaklava, Crimea

Balaklava, Crimea

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, December 21. /TASS/. Prime Minister of Abkhazia Artur Mikvabiya will on Monday meet with Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov and Russia’s plenipotentiary representative Oleg Belaventsev, the Crimean government press service reported.

"Artur Mikvabiya plans to hold a working meeting with plenipotentiary representative of the president of the Russian Federation in the Crimean Federal District Oleg Belaventsev, Sergey Aksyonov, the ministers of economy, industrial policy, transport of the Republic of Crimea," the press service said.

Mikvabiya arrived in Simferopol Sunday evening. Aksyonov met him in the airport.

The visit by the Abkhazian premier to Crimea was initially planned for November 22, but it was postponed due to an emergency situation on the peninsula after electric power supplies from Ukraine were halted.

The authorities of Abkhazia were among the first in March 2014 to say they support and recognize the referendum on Crimea’s self-determination.

Abkhazia has discussed cooperation with Crimea in various spheres.

Russia's recognition of Abkhazia

Russia and Georgia cut off diplomatic ties after Moscow recognized as independent two Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The recognition followed Georgia's attack on South Ossetia that entailed Russia's peacemaking operation in August 2008.

Crimea’s reunification with Russia

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

Crimea had joined the Russian Empire in 1783, when it was conquered by Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

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 as a gift.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine and remained in that capacity until March 2014, when it reunified with Russia after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

According to the Crimean and Ukrainian statistics bodies, as of early 2014, Crimea had a population of 1,959,000 people; Sevastopol has a population of 384,000 people.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.

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