Turchynov stops referendum in Crimea
Verkhovna Rada Chairman and acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he stoped the Crimean Supreme Council's decision to hold a referendum on Crimea's inclusion in Russia.
"In accordance with power I am conferred on, I have stopped the decision of the Crimean parliament. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will initiate dissolution of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. We will defend the inviolability of the Ukrainian territory," he said in a televised address on Thursday evening.
"The Supreme Council of Crimea, which is completely controlled by the servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces, has made an illegal decision to hold a referendum. The referendum in Crimea on the question: 'Do you support the inclusion of Crimea in the Russian Federation?' This decision is unlawful and void. The decision contradicts the will of Ukrainians and the interests of citizens living in the autonomy," Turchynov said.
He said that according to Article 73 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the issues of territories and borders could be discussed only at a nationwide referendum.
"By the way, it's impossible to hold even a local, Crimean referendum in ten days. So this is not a referendum. This will be a farce, this will be falsity, this will be a crime against the state, which was organized by the military of the Russian Federation," he said.
"We will defend the inviolability of our territory. We will defend the sovereignty of our country," Turchynov said.
He also said that Ukrainian citizens who live in Crimea would contribute to this in every way possible.
As reported, the Crimean Supreme Council on Thursday decided to include the autonomy in Russia and also proposed that the Russian president and the Russian Federal Assembly launch the procedure on Crimea's inclusion in Russia as a subject of Russia.
Moreover, the Crimean Supreme Council decided to reschedule a referendum on the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from March 30 to March 16.
The main investigation department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has launched a pre-trial investigation in connection with the adoption by Crimean Supreme Council deputies of the decision to include the autonomy in Russia.
"The SBU's main investigation department has launched a pre-trial investigation under Part 3, Article 110 of the Criminal Code (encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine)," the SBU's press center told Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.
The press center said that Crimean deputies had adopted a respective decision in violation of the procedure established by the Constitution of Ukraine and acted deliberately to change the boundaries of the Ukrainian territory.
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