MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. The Kherson region is ready for a referendum on the accession to Russia but has taken a pause due to security considerations, Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the region’s military-civilian administration, said on Monday.
"We have got prepared for voting. We wanted to organize the referendum in the near future, but because of the current developments, I think we will take a pause. It is quite explainable from the practical point of view. We are not running before the hounds and are focused on our key task - to feed people, to ensure their security," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel.
He also said that Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk’s threats of 12 years in prison and confiscation of property for the participation in the referendum on the accession to Russia will be no obstacle. "I would like to tell Irina Vereshchuk the following: you have nothing to do with the Kherson region. It is a liberated territory and what you are doing, your threats are mere senseless cries," he stressed.
"We are not afraid. <…> We have already said: Kherson has always been Russia," Stremousov said, adding that "people are ready to rush to the referendum to become a full-fledged region of the big country, which can protect them."
By now, Kiev has lost control of the entire Kherson region territory. Peaceful life is being gradually restoring in the region, which is being integrated into Russia’s legal and economic domain, and local authorities have declared their intention to join Russia by means of a referendum.