Russia's position on Crimea will be defined after referendum results

Russia's position on Crimea will be finally defined by the results of the referendum on the peninsula, said to the journalists Leonid Slutsky, head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs.

“The State Duma will consider any bills on this subject, after the Crimea’s referendum is over and after Russian leadership decides its viewpoint,” said the lawmaker, stressing that “this is the competence of the Russian leadership”.

“All factions of the State Duma are in favour of preserving the territorial integrity of Ukraine. But we understand Crimea residents, why they pose such questions in a referendum. Based on this (the referendum), we will determine the position of the State Duma and the Russian Federation,” said Slutsky, ITAR-TASS reports.

Slutsky added that the State Duma would send to the referendum in Crimea its observers, from all factions.

“Certainly we will send observers to the referendum in Crimea on March 16, from all factions of the State Duma. It is our sacred duty,” he stressed.

In the near future, a delegation of the Supreme Council of Crimea headed by Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov will visit Moscow, said Slutsky, though the visit was planned for today. It was assumed that the Crimean deputies would attend the session of “Open Stand” in the State Duma, which discusses the Ukraine crisis.

On February 28, State Duma party “Fair Russia” initiated amendment to the 2001 Law about adoption and creation of a new entity within the Russian Federation.

“The current law states that the newly annexed territories can be created by agreement with the State of which the territory is part, explains the first deputy head of the “Fair Russia” faction Mikhail Yemelyanov. “The procedure will be as follows: the initiator of the proposition, public authorities of the part of the foreign state, apply to the president of Russia. The President notifies the Council of the Federation, the State Duma, the Government, consults with them.” If the President agrees with the proposition, he submits a draft federal constitutional law on admission of the part of other state to the Russian Federation, which defines the status, name, and other legal issues, says the civil servant.

The amendment by “Fair Russia” specifies that accession of the part of other State as a new entity of Russian Federation is possible even without such international treaty - in two cases: if the people of this territory vote to join Russia in a referendum, or if there is an appeal to Russia by legitimate public authorities of the part of other State.

The leader of the “Fair Russia” Sergei Mironov suggested in an interview with ITAR-TASS that the bill could be considered and adopted as early as next week.

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