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Putin Gives Gov’t Until March 29 To Map Out Executive Bodies In Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the government until March 29 to draw up plans for the creation of executive bodies in Crimea. This comes after Putin signed the constitutional law incorporating Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia as two new constituent regions.

The president also gave instructions to ministries and agencies to ensure the implementation of measures aimed at establishing federal, regional, municipal and other executive administrations in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, including measures to adjust the staff lists of executive bodies to the required numbers, the Kremlin’s press service reports.

 “The government is to submit its first report on the issue in two weeks and then report once a month,” it says.

Crimea finally reunified with Russia while US fails to 'cut off Ukraine'

Crimea and Sevastopol have finally been reunified with the Russian Federation. The State Duma and the Federal Council approved the required package of legislative measures to turn the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city of federal importance, into Russian territorial entities. The reunification can be seen as irreversible despite the US's hysterics and Europe’s displeasure, but provocations by the Kiev government, under the control of Maidan radicals, are still likely, and they pose a major threat to stability around Crimea.

Crimea actually became a part of Russia on March 18th, when President Vladimir Putin, Crimean Parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Sevastopol Mayor Alexei Chaly signed a relevant treaty.

Vladimir Putin described the event as historic and said the referendum on the status of Crimea on March 16th had been held fully in conformity with all democratic procedures and international legal standards.

"82 percent of voters turned out to polling stations to cast their ballots, with over 96 percent of them coming out for joining Russia. The figures are more than convincing. To understand their choice, one should have a thorough knowledge of the history of Crimea, one should be aware of what Russia has always meant to Crimea and what Crimea has meant to Russia".

While Moscow, Simferopol (the capital of Crimea) and Sevastopol (a federal city and the Russian Black Sea Fleet's main base) have been finalizing documents throughout this past week, Washington and partly the European Union have been trying to save the US operation to "cut off Ukraine". The US launched the operation in November last year, but both Washington and Moscow were caught unawares when developments took a U-turn in February this year.

The last few moves to save "the cutting off of Ukraine" are attempts to impose on Russia certain mediation in settling the crisis in relations with Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov however said on March 21st that the crisis in question is by no means a conflict between Kiev and Moscow, but a deep crisis within Ukraine. He said it is indispensable to disarm the illegal armed groups, take them away from the streets and squares and carry out constitutional reform in Ukraine on the principle of federalization.

Washington has already blacklisted several dozen Russian functionaries, politicians and businessmen and ordered the freezing of their bank accounts in US banks. The lists have been obviously drawn up quite randomly. One of those on the black lists is head of the Russian railway company Vladimir Yakunin. But how can one blame him for improving the railway system that has been used, among others, by millions of Ukrainians?

Russia complies with troop limits on Ukrainian border

Russia is complying with all international treaties limiting troop numbers along its border with Ukraine, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Sunday.

"The Defense Ministry is complying with all international agreements on the limitation of troops in border areas," he said, commenting on allegations in mass media that Russia is massing "thousands of" troops on the Ukrainian border.

"By the way, the issue has been repeatedly discussed during telephone talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his foreign counterparts, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel and Ukraine's acting Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh," Antonov said.

Shoigu informed his interlocutors precisely and unambiguously about the real state of affairs on the Russian-Ukrainian border and the absence of any plans to mass troops in border areas, the deputy defense minister said.

Crimea is part of Russia - President Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said no one is demanding that Belarus legally recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. "Today Crimea is part of the Russian territory. You can recognize it or not recognize it, nothing will change. No one is demanding that we recognize it or support its inclusion in Russia," Lukashenko told a briefing in Minsk on Sunday.

Lukashenko said that no one is demanding that he personally, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, or any other agencies should legally recognize Crimea as Russian territory. "I think the situation will develop de facto. It doesn't matter if it will become de jure. We are not getting into that right now," Lukashenko said.

At the same time, Lukashenko said Belarus will follow the same line as Russia. "We are bound by agreements with Russia. We will be with Russia and all speculation on that matter should stop. We will conduct balanced policies but, if the question arises, we will always be with Russia and I have said that to Putin," Lukashenko said.

Ukraine has no one but itself to blame for losing Crime ,says Lukashenko

The Ukrainian authorities committed lots of mistakes which have led to the loss of Crimea, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Sunday. One of those mistakes is the government’s position on the language issue, he told reporters in Minsk.

 “Why, after coming to power, did they ban the Russian language and started to put pressure on the Russian-speakers? What for? They say that Russia has 'grabbed' Crimea. But you, politicians, you laid yourself open. Russia saw what was happening and intervened. There are 2.5 million Russians living in Crimea, that’s why Russia intervened. But then, it had every reason to, considering what the Ukrainian authorities had been doing,” Lukashenko said.

Source: The Voice Of Russia