Putin signs reunification laws for Crimea, Sevastopol
The Federation Council has ratified the treaty on Crimean accession to Russia and the formation of new constituent territories in the Russian Federation at a special session on Friday. The treaty between Crimea and Russia was signed at the Kremlin on March 18 by President Vladimir Putin, Crimean Supreme Council head Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Sevastopol Mayor Alexei Chaly.
"The treaty is based on the free and voluntary expression of will of the Crimean people at an all-Crimea referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on March 16, 2014, during which the Crimean people decided to reunite with Russia," a treaty memo says.
The treaty says Crimea shall be admitted to the Russian Federation on the day the treaty was signed. On that day new constituent territories - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol - were established.
The Russian Federation guarantees the right to preserve the native language and pledges to create conditions for native language studies and development for all the peoples who populate the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.
Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar have been declared the official state languages of the Republic of Crimea.
The limits of the territory of the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol shall be their borders as of the date of their accession to the Russian Federation.
The land border of the Republic of Crimea with Ukraine shall be the state border of the Russian Federation.
The waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov shall be delimitated on the basis of international treaties, norms and the principles international law.
Since the day of the Crimean accession to the Russian Federation, citizens of Ukraine and stateless persons permanently residing in the republic or Sevastopol shall be recognized as Russian citizens with the exception of individuals who declare within one month their wish to retain other citizenship for themselves and/or their underage children or to remain stateless persons.
The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, ratified the historic Crimea reunification treaty at its additional session on Thursday. A total of 443 State Duma deputies supported the ratificiation and only one voted against, while 300 yeas were necessary. The agreement will be provisionally applied from the date of its signing and will enter into force since the date of its ratification.
President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and other Crimean leaders on Tuesday following a referendum in which some 96.7 percent of voters backed joining Russia. A referendum on the status of autonomy was held in Crimea on March 16.
The treaty, which sparked the most serious geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War, was unanimously approved by the Russian Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that came to power amid often violent protests last month and sought reunification with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed an agreement to the State Duma for ratification on the Republic of Crimea and its accession, including Sevastopol, to Russia and the formation of new Russian constituent regions, as well as a federal constitutional bill to that effect. "The package of documents has arrived at the Duma," the lower house of parliament said.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Konstnatinov and Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov, Sevastopol Mayor Alexei Chaly signed a treaty which stipulates that the Republic of Crimea has been acknowledged as reunified with the Russian Federation.
Since the date of Crimea's accession to the Russian Federation the new subjects - the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which has federal status, have been created in the Russian Federation. Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean languages have been recognized as official languages spoken in the Republic of Crimea.
The Russian Constitutional Court has found the international treaty on joining the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation to be in line with the Constitution, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin told reporters.
The Russian president's inquiry regarding the compliance of the treaty with the Russian Constitution was considered in the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
"The Constitutional Court recognizes that the Treaty corresponds with the Russian Constitution," the Constitutional Court chairman, Valery Zorkin, said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the draft treaty on Crimea's reunification with Russia and the formation of new sub-federal entities as part of the Russian Federation. He also notified both chambers of the Russian parliament of the proposals by Crimea's Supreme Council and the legislative assembly of Sevastopol on their joining the Russian Federation.
On Monday, March 17, the Crimean parliament, which declared Crimea an independent state, authorized Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov and parliament Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov to sign an interstate treaty with the Russian Federation on the admission of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which has a special status, into the Russian Federation.
The Treaty will be considered effective since being signed and becomes official on ratification.
Earlier in the day, speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, Sergei Naryshkin said the Russian president would submit the Treaty and the draft federal constitutional law "just today".
"We're ready to discuss and approve these laws within the shortest period of time in full compliance with the norms of international law and the Duma regulations. We'll do that till the end of the week," he said.
State Duma lawmakers do not rule out that the documents could be approved at an extraordinary plenary session on March 20. Members of the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, are planning to meet on this issue on March 21.
Russia's Constitutional Court has received a presidential order to check the agreement on the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation.
"On March 18, the Constitutional Court received the president's inquiry on checking the constitutionality of the agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and formation of new constituent entities within the Russian Federation," Constitutional Court's press service reported.
The Russian president has applied to the Russian Constitutional Court for verification of the constitutionality of the international treaty on the accession of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.
The application was filed on Tuesday, the court press service told Interfax on Wednesday. The press service said the issue would not be considered in public hearings.
Voice of Russia, Interfax,