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Ruslan Koshulynskyi: Referendum in Crimea is Unlawful and Unconstitutional

Kyiv, March, 7th, 2014 – Commenting on the events in Crimea, Ruslan Koshulynsky, Vice-Speaker of Verkhovna Rada, stated at a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center that the decision to hold a referendum in Crimea is unlawful and unconstitutional and therefore will not be recognized in Ukraine or by the global community.

According to Mr. Koshulynskyi, there is no legislative mechanism in Ukraine to hold a referendum in Crimea. In particular, Ukraine does not have a law to hold a local referendums. No country will acknowledge the decision of the referendum in view of the absence of a legislative framework.

Today, the Central Election Commission has already suspended the issuance of the electoral register. The next step of the Ukrainian authorities should be to have the President of Ukraine issue a decree, in accordance with article 85 clause 28 of the Constitution of Ukraine, and to terminate the powers of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

According to Ruslan Koshulynskyi, the Ukrainian authorities act by means of diplomacy, trying to minimize the possibilities of military escalation of the conflict.

Commenting on Russia’s policy towards Ukraine, Mr. Koshulynskyi noted that the main goals pursued by Russia in our country until recently have been:

1) having Russian armed forces in Ukraine for an unlimited time;

2) federalization of Ukraine;

3) dual citizenship;

4) introducing a second official language in Ukraine.

These demands have now transformed into one key task, which is to mechanically annex Crimea. However, Russia’s swift change of rhetoric and simplification of the procedure for the accession of new constituent entities to the Russian Federation suggests that Russians are not so sure about the results of a referendum held in an open and transparent way.

Mr. Koshulynskyi commented on the possibility of military operations by saying that Ukraine is unable to fend off militarily due to the weakness of its armed forces. The Ukrainian Government urges the international community and parties to the Budapest Memorandum to use all possible diplomatic and economic leverage.

Despite the divergence of views, the Ukrainian Government is ready to unite the efforts in building and protecting the country.

Ruslan Koshulynsky, Vice-Speaker of Verkhovna Rada. In 2006 2007 he was an entrepreneur. Since August 2008 Mr. Koshulynsky has been a Deputy Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Union ‘Svoboda’. In 2010-2012 he was a chairman of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” in the Lviv city council. In December 2012 Mr. Koshulynsky was elected People’s Deputy of Ukraine.IMG_4848-1170x780-960x540

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