(QHA) -

Russian President Vladimir Putin's office says Moscow will not ignore a request for peacekeeping support made by Serhiy Aksyonov, the pro-Russian prime minister of Ukraine's Crimea region, RFE/RL reports.

Aksyonov appealed to Putin for help on March 1, and also also declared that all military, police, border guards, and security services in Crimea should answer only to his orders. He said commanders who disagree should resign.

He said commanders who disagree should resign.

Aksyonov also declared a referendum of the peninsula's future had been pushed forward by nearly two months to March 30.

Speaking on March 1 at the first cabinet session of his newly established Crimean regional government, Aksyonov said the referendum was being expedited "due to necessity."

Voters will be asked whether they agree with the statement: "The Autonomous Republic of Crimea has state independence and is a part of Ukraine on the basis of agreements and accords."

QHA