Kurultai, Crimean Tatars want national and territorial autonomy.

31 Mar 2014

The unofficial Crimean Tatars parliament voted in favor of seeking “national and territorial autonomy” following Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and annexation by Russia two weeks ago.

Crimean Tatars’ assembly leader Refat Chubarov told more than 200 delegates: “In the life of every nation there comes a time when it must make decisions that will determine its future.”

“I ask you to approve … the start of political and legal procedures aimed at creating ethnic and territorial autonomy of the Crimean Tatars of their historic territory of Crimea.”

 The assembly also voted in favor of his proposal, made in the Crimean Tatars historic capital of Bakhchisaray. Chubarov said he expected both Kiev and Moscow to react to the decision to seek autonomy.

 Refat Chubarov announced plans to negotiate with both Russia and Ukraine, as well as with the UN, European Council, EU, OSCE and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Chubarov explained that the Crimean Tatars have studied Russia’s constitution and are aware of the regional laws governing subjects within the Russian Federation, and thus have decided to demand the right to self-determination.

 Present at the assembly were the head of Russia’s Council of Muftis Ravil Gaynutdin and Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan. Both have guaranteed to help Crimean Tatars leaders meet and negotiate with authorities in Moscow.

 The Russian and Ukrainian governments have voiced their support for the Crimean Tatars.

Reuters, Itar-Tass, Interfax

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