Russia calls on Kiev to develop a new constitution
MOSCOW, March 17 (RAPSI) – Moscow calls on Ukrainian parliament to assemble a conference with the representatives of the country's regions, to form a new federalized constitution, according to the statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday.
On Sunday, the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea held a referendum that confirmed overwhelming support for region to join Russia.
Crimea’s regional assembly, which was dissolved by the Ukrainian parliament Saturday, plans to send a formal request to Moscow to join Russia after a session on Monday.
Ukrainian and Western leaders have denounced the referendum as illegitimate and unconstitutional, while Moscow insists the Crimeans – a majority of whom identify as ethnic Russians – should be allowed to determine their own destiny.
Crimea, a peninsula of some 2 million people, has resisted the authority of the leadership that came to power in Kiev last month after a prolonged political crisis resulting in a de facto ouster of Viktor Yanukovich.
On February 22, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (parliament) impeached Viktor Yanukovich and amended the constitution. Presidential authority was assigned to parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov and a presidential election was scheduled for May 25.
President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference earlier in March that Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia, remains Ukraine’s legitimate president.