New York (QHA) -

MP of Ukraine, leader of Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Jemilev spoke at the informal meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, convened at the initiative of Ukraine and Lithuania.

In his speech, Jemilev called the illegal referendum in Crimea “cynical” and “absurd”.

“It is an absurd to decide on the territorial affiliation to one country or another on the basis of local referendum.  Right to self-determination can only have indigenous people of the given territory.  In Crimea, such people are the Crimean Tatars.  But they boycotted this referendum”, said Jemilev.

According to Jemilev, only 32,4 % of Crimeans took part in the referendum, not 82%-as announced by Russian authorities.

He also called cynical statement of Russian authorities about the oppression of Russian people in Crimea, as the majority of local government leaders are Russians.  Most of schools in Crimea are also Russian. 

 “The Russian authorities justify their actions by saying that Ukraine established so-called ‘Bandera’ authorities.  But this is not true”, he adds.

Jemilev noted that relationships of Crimean Tatars and the government of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych were also tense:

“Yanukovych regime was corrupt.  Crimean Tatars were viewed as the main opposition to it.  They didn’t vote for Yanukovych, therefore were poorly represented in the government”.

To be noted, the informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday, March 31, was not attended by several of its permanent representatives, including Russia and China.  

QHA