Russia’s attempts to suppress Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people and to force it for underground activity are big mistake and cynicism, Ukrainian MP, Crimea’s former Prime Minister Sergey Kunitsyn said in a interview to Radio Liberty.
“I remember the 1998, when I was appointed Prime Minister of Crimea, some of 50, 000 Crimean Tatars walked on foot to Simferopol to claim their rights. Ukrainian authorities made no attempts to disperse them, but found a formula: [Ukraine’s then President Leonid] Kuchma has created a Consulate of Crimean Tatar Representatives, headed by [Crimean Tatar leader] Mustafa Jemilev”- Kunitsyn said.
“Even the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has found Ukraine’s method to solve interethnic conflict a unique one, amid the events in Caucuses and Chechnya”- he added.
The present Russian authorities are even banning the Tatars to commemorate the victims of Stalin’s forced resettlement. “It is a grave political mistake to crush down the Tatar movement,- Kunitsyn said. This tense spring will someday uncoil and backfire on the Russian regime,” he noted.
“Russia is turning the peninsula into an aircraft carrier, deploying missile, paratroopers and other military units. The territory has no economic future, with the tourist industry destroyed,” he said.
To recall, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev, head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov were accused of inciting interethnic hatred and banned from entering Crimea for 5 years.
Mejlis’s deputy head Akhtem Chiygoz was arrested, being charged with organizing mass disorder during pro-Ukrainian meeting Feb 26, 2014.