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Crimea Moves to Join Russia

Published: March 7, 2014 (Issue # 1800)



  • People protesting against Russia's intervention in Crimea.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Crimean parliament voted in favor of joining Russia on Thursday and its pro-Russian government announced that a referendum would be held on the decision on March 16.

Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Askyonov said all state property would be nationalized, the Russian ruble adopted as the new currency, and all Ukrainian troops forced to either leave Crimea or surrender to the new government once the decision is finalized.

The news of Crimea's potential return to Russia has been well-received in Ukraine's pro-Russian organizations, but Kiev and the international community have begun questioning the referendum's legitimacy.

"Crimea wants to be part of Russia," said Alexander Svistunov, head of the Russian movement of Ukraine, at a press conference in Moscow. "We want to live with our people, and our people are in Russia."

The head of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, announced that Russia's position on Crimea's independence would depend on the results of the March 16 referendum.

"All factions of the State Duma support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but we understand why this issue is the cause of a referendum," Slutsky told reporters on Thursday, ITAR-TASS reported. "We will determine our position, the position of the State Duma, of the Russian Federation, on the basis of the results of the March 16 referendum."

Sergei Mironov, the Duma deputy who leads the A Just Russia party, said earlier this week that he had introduced a bill to simplify the procedure for Crimea to join the Russian Federation.

Crimea's eagerness to join Russia has raised questions about the legitimacy of the upcoming referendum both in Kiev and abroad.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, who was in Brussels on Thursday for talks with EU leaders, said that a referendum in Crimea was illegitimate and that the republic "is, was and will be an integral part of Ukraine."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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