Wednesday, February 15 2017 17:06 EET
Russia
Dzhemilev said he talked with Putin before the annexation of the Crimea
Dzhemilev, Said, Twith, Putin, Bthe, Annexation, Crimea

People's Deputy and Commissioner of the President of Ukraine on the Affairs of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the eve of "referendum" and Putin was trying to persuade him to cooperate. He revealed this information in an interview with Apostrophe news portal.

Dzhemilev commented on media reports that Russian authorities made an offer to lead the "government of the Crimea" to many well-known Crimean politicians.

"No, there was bribery of a different type. They immediately passed a resolution on the guarantees of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people, recognized Mejlis and said that the representation of Crimean Tatars in power structures will not be less than 20%. They said that they would immediately restore the [Crimean Tatar] toponomy, that the Crimean Tatar language would be an official language on par with the Russian language," he said.

"We know the value of the promises of Russians, that's why [the head of Mejlis, Refat] Chubarov said then: ‘You approve your Constitution, write everything that you just said, but we have no agreements with you, because you came in here illegally.’ That's where it all ended." Dzhemilev added.

He also clarified that he talked with Putin by phone four days before the "referendum".

"He told me, too, about how he would make Crimean Tatars happy; he promised to solve the social problems of all Crimean Tatars in a few months and said that Russia is a great country, that in a few months it would do more than Ukraine had done in the 23 years of its independence… I told him, ‘Thank you for the offer, but although the Crimean Tatars are in a difficult situation, this is mostly due to the fact that at one time, Russia committed genocide of the Crimean Tatar people and deported the indigenous population [of the Crimea]," Dzhemilev said.

"And concerning providing the aid, this should be discussed not with me, but with the leadership of Ukraine," he had added.

Russia eventually annexed the Crimea in March 2014.

Earlier Dzhemilev: 'Western countries may pay dearly for their flexibility toward Russia in matters of Crimea annexation'