22:00 GMT23 November 2020
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    According to the deputy head of the Crimean government Ruslan Balbec, the Crimean Tatar organization demonstrated value for receiving bribes.

    SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) — The banned by Russia Mejlis Crimean Tatar organization demonstrated value for receiving bribes and not culture despite Washington’s claims, deputy head of the Crimean government Ruslan Balbec said Friday.

    The Russian Justice Ministry suspended Mejlis, a minority ethnic Tatar organization, after it was accused of links to terror groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir and Turkey’s neo-nazi Gray Wolves. Washington said the decision contravened basic democratic principles.

    "The US State Department officially calls on not prohibiting Mejlis, citing ‘high achievements in the field of culture.’ The only value that was cultivated in Mejlis was money…I will not be afraid of the word 'maestro' of bribes," Balbec wrote in his Facebook page.

    In this photo taken on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, a woman in traditional Tatar women's headscarf wait to cross the road in Simferopol, Crimea
    © AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko
    He clarified to RIA Novosti that foreign sponsors of Mejlis had been "generously dispensing money" to group's top officials for anti-Russia actions.

    Balbec named the US Open Society Foundations and the International Republican Institute led by US Senator John McCain among sponsors of the banned Crimean Tatar organization.

    Crimea rejoined Russia after a referendum in March 2014, in which 96 percent of people in the region backed cessation from Ukraine.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    Crimean Tatars, corruption, bribe, Mejlis, Russia, Crimea
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