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KIEV, June 3 /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko is pinning high hopes on Crimean Tatars in the cause of returning Crimea to Ukraine.
Poroshenko told a news conference on Friday that the Kiev government ought to have created the Crimean Tatar Autonomy much earlier. "All the presidents and governments were afraid of them. That was wrong. We should have more trust in this people. It is the stronghold of ‘Ukraineanness’ in Crimea," the Ukrainian president said.
Mass protests erupted in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovich had been ousted from power in a state coup in February 2014.
The authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum on reunification with Russia on March 16, 2014 in which more than 80% of eligible voters had taken part: 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol voted for the reunification. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty of accession of two news entities - Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol - to Russia. The Russian Federal Assembly (parliament) ratified the treaty on March 21, 2014.