Russia’s Lower House has passed a statement welcoming the Crimean people’s decision to join the Russian Federation, and expressing hope for peace and harmony on the peninsula during the transitional period.
The statement was prepared by all four parliamentary caucuses and submitted by Lower House chairman Sergey Naryshkin.
It calls the Crimean referendum of March 16 “a free demonstration of the people’s will.” Russian MPs said they were sure the authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea would maintain peace, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional harmony as well as language diversity on its territory.
The Russian MPs also stated their own obligation to support the socio-economic development of the republic and its political stability.
The State Duma said it would contribute to security of all persons remaining in Crimean territory and protect their rights and freedoms, regardless of their citizenship, ethnicity, language or religion.
The address was prepared after the Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a referendum on Sunday in which 96.77 percent voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. On the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state.He also ordered the preparation of a treaty on accession of the Crimean Republic into the Russian Federation.
In preparations for the possible future accession the Crimean parliament has already passed a bill to adopt the Russian currency. The Ukrainian hryvnia will remain circulating on the peninsula until January 2016.
At about 15.00 Moscow Time on Tuesday President Putin is expected to make an address to the Federal Assembly regarding the situation in Crimea.