SIMFEROPOL, July 27./TASS/. Natalya Poklonskaya, a senior legislator from the State Duma (lower house of parliament), has branded an offer to recognize Crimea by Ankara in exchange for Russia’s recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as ‘improper bargaining’.
"This bargaining is improper. The Crimean referendum is the expression of the will of the people, and it is not correct to use the expression of the people’s will as a bargaining chip," said Poklonskaya, deputy head of the Duma’s international affairs committee. She was speaking about a statement from a Turkish professor who suggested that Moscow and Ankara could agree on the status of Crimea if Russia recognized the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as an independent state.
"Turkey is a beautiful country. And sooner or later Turkey along with other countries will recognize the Crimean referendum," she stressed. According to Poklonskaya, the process of the recognition of Russia’s Crimea could have been quicker. "Since few have true sovereignty today, the dependence on global hegemons is in place. It is kind of scary, maybe, to make the decisions that ‘big brother’ won’t approve of," she explained.
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
Earlier, the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar announced at a military parade in the Turkish part of Nicosia that part of the territory of Varosha, located in the neutral zone of the island, would be demilitarized and allocated for the use of Greek Cypriot private owners. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attended the parade, welcomed this decision, claiming that it would benefit all sides.
However, under a UN Security Council resolution of 1984, Varosha must remain intact until the return of descendants of the Greek Cypriot owners who were evicted in 1974. Another resolution of the UN Security Council seeks the return of this district under the control of UN peacekeepers (it is de-facto under the control of Turkish troops). In defiance of these two documents, on October 8, 2020, the authorities of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus opened access to the coastal part of Varosha’s northern neighborhoods to tourists.
On July 22, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that Moscow did not support the unilateral changes to the status of part of that closed district.