Russian MP says Crimea's 1954 transfer to be canceled

5 February 2015 15:11

Russia's parliament plans to pass a bill this spring that will annul the Soviet Union's 1954 transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, in a symbolic move intended to vindicate Russia's recent annexation of the peninsula by canceling what seemed an equally symbolic move six decades ago.

The bill aims to restore "historic and legal justice," Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said, Interfax reported Wednesday.

"No one asked the residents of Crimea or Sevastopol then, no one consulted the regional authorities," Matviyenko was cited as saying in the report.

In December, Matviyenko said Russian legal analysts determined the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was "unlawful" because it violated the constitution and legal procedures of the time.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed over Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 in a symbolic gesture that appeared to be of little consequence at a time when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the U.S.S.R.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia in March, following a local referendum on the region’s status, which was condemned around the world as a violation of Ukrainian and international law.