(QHA) -

Crimean Tatars understand clearly that they are under the reliable protection of the state, Crimean deputy prime minister Ruslan Balbek noted January 4 on local television.

He praised Russian President Vladimir Putin's decree withdrawing the label "traitor" from all repressed nationalities.

Balbek added that Crimean Tatars support a government initiative to mark May 18, 2015 -- the 71st anniversary of the Stalin-era deportation of Crimean Tatars -- as "a day of mourning and the consolidation of all peoples of the peninsula, without politicization."

He said that in 23 years there hasn't been a single occasion that "we celebrated together both Christian and Muslim holidays."

Following Crimea's unification with Russia, Crimean authorities banned Crimean Tatars from holding annual May 18 mourning rally to commemorate 70 th anniversary of Crimean deportation by Stalin regime in 1944.

Crimean Tatars, who make 12 percent of Crimean population opposed Crimea's unification with Russia, which was declared illegitimate by international community.

QHA