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Crimea’s referendum corrected Soviet-era mistake - Gorbachev

Published time: March 17, 2014 22:28
Edited time: March 18, 2014 00:17
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (AFP Photo)

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (AFP Photo)

The people of Crimea fixed a Soviet-era mistake with the Sunday’s referendum and the will of the people should not be punished by sanctions, said former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

“Earlier Crimea was merged with Ukraine under Soviet laws, to be more exact by the [Communist] party's laws, without asking the people, and now the people have decided to correct that mistake. This should be welcomed instead of declaring sanctions," he told Interfax on Monday.

Gorbachev praised the referendum, stating that it “reflects the aspirations of Crimea's residents."

He criticized the use of sanctions against Russia in retaliation to the referendum. "To declare sanctions you need very serious reasons. And they must be upheld by the UN," Gorbachev added. "The will of the people of the Crimea and the Crimea's possible unification with Russia as a constituent region do not constitute such a reason.”

Over 96 percent of voters in the Crimean referendum held on Sunday answered ‘yes’ to the autonomous republic joining Russia and less than 4 percent of the vote participants want the region to remain part of Ukraine. The Crimean parliament also unanimously voted to integrate the region into Russia.

In the meantime the US, EU and Canada have already imposed new sanctions against Russia following the referendum.

The international observers who were present during the referendum made an official statement on Monday that the vote was free and conformed to international standards.

On Monday President Vladimir Putin has signed an order that Russia recognizes Crimea as a sovereign and independent state. “According to the will of the peoples of the Crimea on the all-Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014, [I order] to recognize the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status, as a sovereign and independent state,” the document reads.

Crimea also addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state. "The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states," the parliament said.

Crimea has already officially introduced the ruble as a second currency along with the Ukrainian hryvna. On Monday the republic also created the Bank of Crimea and announced that all budget incomes, which up until now were being transferred to Kiev, will now be credited to the republic's accounts. The dual currency will be in place for about six months.

Comments (158)


Lou Coatney 06.05.2014 10:17

GOOD to see former President Gorbachev speaking out for fairness and to condemn the West's sanctions against Russia. I myself was at his 6May92 "end of the Cold War" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and I can remember how happy and relieved everyone was and how we looked forward to welcoming Russians back as friends and allies.

Gor bachev is NOT a traitor to Russia. His glasnost program of historical truth freed Russia from the tragedies of its past and gained for you Russians the moral high ground in the world. We Americans BADLY need our own glasnost ... and we need to be told that.


witkacy26 29.03.2014 14:37

I've heart that people are paid for posting pro-Putin comments in this website. I'd like to do it too, where can I apply?


Mohamed Ba Aden 21.03.2014 07:24

Its so funny that the West USA and Canada are trying to punish Russia with sanctions while the real occupants of Palestinian´s country can be free to do what they like to do in murdering a whole nation´s people and making their rules and again giving their occupation the usual name ( War against Terror) Who are the world TERRORISTS ? An answer which is known to all the free world people, No more from me for this time. I gave you a guss and you try to find out if whats written in here is right or wrong... !!!

View all comments (158)
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