Crimea parliament speaker asserts independence, referendum to be held March 30

Sort out who’s boss in Kiev, Crimea takes care of itself – republic’s parliament speaker

RT: March 2, 2014

Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea wants Kiev to stay out of its business, and put its own house in order first, the Crimean parliament speaker has said, adding that local authorities can meanwhile take care of local business.

“You in Kiev sort it out between yourselves, and we will deal with the republic’s problems,” Vladimir Konstantinov told a news conference.

The top priority for Crimean authorities is to hold a referendum on whether it should have greater autonomy, the speaker said. Such a referendum has been scheduled for March 30.

Konstantinov said the self-proclaimed government in Kiev discredited itself by breaking an agreement it signed with ousted President Viktor Yanukovich. It started chaos in the country and is busy abruptly changing legislation instead of calming down the situation.

“The situation in southeastern Ukraine is very tense. People are trying to protect themselves. We all know what that Nazi gang [in Kiev] is capable of. I am sorry that respectable politicians in Kiev decided to settle their scores with the help of that terrible force,” he said.

Most of the Crimean law enforcement and military share this point of view, Konstantinov said. They also support the local self-defense forces, who are basically people who were scared for their lives and their families in the wake of the violence in Kiev and the anti-Russian gestures of the new authorities.

Konstantinov said Crimea would give asylum to anyone persecuted elsewhere in Ukraine for their political views and beliefs.

The speaker advised Kiev against using force to attempt to take control of Crimea or any other region resisting it. He said such a move would end with the new authorities having no region to call their own in Ukraine.

(continues at RT)

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