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Crimean Leader "Not Ready" for Talks with Kiev Government

By Espreso TV

The government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is not yet ready to respond to an offer of talks with Supreme Rada [Ukrainian parliament] representatives, as it does not regard the Kiev government as legitimate, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov announced on Tuesday night [March 4], Espreso TV reports, citing the Itar-Tass news agency.

Asked whether the Supreme Rada was prepared to enter talks with Crimean representatives, Aksyonov said he had only been briefly in contact with its representatives so he could not be clear about this.

“We don’t regard as legitimate the authorities that are proposing to enter into talks with us. Therein lies the main issue,” Aksyonov said.

On the possibility that Crimea might leave Ukraine, he said, “Only the residents of the autonomous republic can decide that. The citizens can make any choice and we will carry out their will.”

On the creation of [Crimea’s] own armed forces and navy, Aksyonov underlined that “all military units must subordinate themselves to the Crimean authorities, specifically the parliament." He also said that “most military units have already come over to the legitimate leadership of Crimea and are ready to swear an oath."

Yesterday [March 4], the Kiev District Administrative Court stated that it was illegal for the Crimean parliament to appoint Sergei Aksyonov as head of the Crimean cabinet, and to conduct a referendum on expanding the autonomous republic’s powers.

The prosecution service department for judicial affairs and civil and state legal protection has announced that actions and decisions undertaken by Aksyenov as head of the Crimean cabinet or on behalf of it are henceforth deemed to be illegal and without legal foundation.

This article republished from Espreso TV with kind permission. Original article in Ukrainian.

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