Published On: Tue, Mar 11th, 2014

Crimean Parliament Adopts Declaration of Independence in Preparation of Referendum

nsnbc : The Parliament of Crimea has adopted a Declaration of Independence from the Ukraine, declaring Crimea as an independent, sovereign state in accordance with international law, based on the precedent of Kosovo. The declaration is a necessary measure in preparation of a referendum about the future status of Crimea, scheduled for 16 March.

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge. (Twitter)

The document was adopted during an extraordinary session of Parliament with 78 of 100 voting for the adoption of the declaration. The Parliament’s vote in favor of becoming a sovereign state paves the way for the referendum on 16 March, where Crimean’s will vote whether to stay part of the Ukraine under the 1992 Constitution that is based on a confederacy association with the Ukraine, or whether to declare independence and apply to Russia, to become part of the Russian Federation.

The legality of the Parliament’s declaration of Independence and the referendum on 16 March are based on the precedent set by Kosovo. The Declaration of Independence, as adopted by the Crimean Parliament, was published in Crimean media and states:

“We, the members of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council, with regard to the charter of the United Nations and a whole range of other international documents, and taking into consideration the confirmation of the status of Kosovo by the United Nations International Court of Justice on July, 22, 2010, which says that a unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the country doesn’t violate any international norms, make this decision”.

The declaration has been signed by the Speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, and the head of the Sevastopol City Council, Yury Doynikov. Konstantinov told reporters:

“We adopted the declaration of independence to make the upcoming referendum legitimate and transparent. … Now we declare ourselves the Republic of Crimea, we don’t add ‘autonomous.”

Konstantinov_Crimea

Speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov

Konstantinov added that the Crimea would never rejoin the Ukraine even if the ousted President returns. His confidence in the result of the referendum is strongly supported by results of polls. Konstantinov said:

“Crimea won’t be a part of the Ukraine even if the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, returns to power. … The country where we lived doesn’t exist anymore. We are going our own way and we’re trying to do it quickly.”

With regard to the new state’s currency, Konstantinov said that Crimea would adopt the Russian ruble as its currency, soon after the referendum.

The Crimean authorities are preparing for the referendum, scheduled for Sunday, said Konstantinov, and reiterated that he believes that the referendum will vote in favor of independence. With regard to the preparations, he added:

“The ballots for the referendum are being printed and the election committees are being formed in all parts of Crimea”.

Judging by the results of polls, there is little doubt that the result will be a resounding yes for independence from the Ukraine and for joining the Russian Federation. Polls indicate that more than seventy-five per cent of the votes will be cast for joining the Russian Federation. In Sevastopol, the polls show that eighty-five per cent will vote in favor of joining Russia. Almost eight five percent consider the post coup government in Kiev as illegal.

Meanwhile, tensions about the Crimea are rising in the Ukraine and internationally. Crimean police authorities and self-defense forces are bracing for aggression as bus loads of radical Ukrainian nationalists are bussed toward the Crimea, including the same elements which have caused a bloodbath in Kiev, killing ninety and injuring more than five hundred protesters and police officers in Maidan Square.

Ch/L – nsnbc 11.03.2014

Related analysis with regard to international law:

Ukraine: The New Government, Its Questioned Legality, and the Criminal Nature of the Coup

Read more from our coverage about the unfolding events in Crimea and in the Ukraine, with news, analysis and opinion, in nsnbc internationalyour daily independent. 

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