News / Europe

Tatar Leader Asks Putin to Pull Russian Troops from Crimea

FILE - Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev (L) speaks to a fellow Tatar in this 2006 photo. FILE - Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev (L) speaks to a fellow Tatar in this 2006 photo.
x
FILE - Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev (L) speaks to a fellow Tatar in this 2006 photo.
FILE - Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev (L) speaks to a fellow Tatar in this 2006 photo.
VOA News
A Crimean Tatar leader told Russian President Vladimir Putin the secession of Crimea from Ukraine to join Russia would violate an international treaty in which Russia, Britain and the United States vowed to keep Ukraine intact.
 
One of the most senior representatives of the Muslim Tatar minority, Mustafa Dzhemilev, spoke to VOA’s Azerbaijani Service after a Wednesday phone conversation with Putin.  He said he told the Russian leader the Tatars were resolutely opposed to the annexation of Ukrainian territory by another state. 
 
"I told President Vladimir Putin that the best way to avoid confrontations would be to withdraw Russian soldiers from Crimea," said Dzhemilev.

The international treaty he was referring to in his conversation with the Russian leader was the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which Russia, and Great Britain and the United States pledged to protect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for Kyiv giving up its nuclear arsenal.
 
Many Crimean Tatars, who make up about 12 percent of the population of the Black Sea peninsula, are strongly opposed to falling under Russia's control and want to be governed from Kyiv.
 
Crimea is to hold a referendum on joining Russia on Sunday, after which it is expected to be rapidly absorbed into the Russian Federation.
 
Dzhemilev said he told Putin that the referendum in Crimea would be a meaningless exercise.
 
"I expressed my views about the situation, and he expressed his.  Of course, our opinions differed.  Our approaches to the problem differ.  However, we agreed that no blood should be spilled in the Crimean peninsula and no inter-ethnic conflict should take place in Ukraine," said Dzhemilev.
 
Suspicion of Moscow is high among the Tatar community, members of which were deported en masse by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to central Asia during World War II and only started returning home in the late 1980s.
 
However officials in Russia's region of Tatarstan - which enjoys the status of a republic within Russia - have sought to reassure Crimean Tatars they have nothing to fear.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid