Seychelles concerned about Crimea situation
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles is not in a position to recognise the results of the referendum in Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine, says Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs when responding to SNA in an e-mail this afternoon.
MFA has described the referendum as a process which “does not reflect the spirit of the UN Charter on the sovereignty of member states, nor on processes of self – determination.”
“Seychelles reiterates that all parties involved give priority to diplomatic dialogue. We also urge that the transition authorities in Ukraine do their utmost to create an atmosphere of peace and inclusion leading to credible elections,” read the MFA statement.
Final results of the referendum in Crimea shows that 97% of voters are in favour to leave Ukraine and join Russia, according to official results published by the head of the referendum election commission.
Western leaders have widely criticized the referendum that has led the US and EU governments to impose sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian Crimea-based officials.
Ukraine crisis deteriorates
The Crimean situation follows violent anti-government protests in Kiev in January, after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin where Russia agreed to buy $15 billion of Ukrainian debt and reduce the price of Russian gas supplies by about a third. In November Yanukovich had suspended preparations for a trade deal with the EU for "national security" reasons.
Large groups of pro-EU protests took place, which culminated in the coup of February 22, when anti-government activists took control of presidential administration buildings in Kiev and parliament voted to remove President Yanukovych from power with elections set for May 25.
Yanukovych appeared on TV to denounce the coup and subsequently fled to Russia.
The next day, February 23, the interim government repealed a law which allows the use of minority languages, including Russian, to be used as an official language in regions where the size of an ethnic minority exceeds 10%.
This caused an uproar in the Crimea, known as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine, where Russians are the largest ethnic group, and led to calls for a referendum on its independence from Kiev.
In 1954 the Soviet Republic transferred Crimea to Ukraine, as a gift by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was himself half-Ukrainian. At the time Ukraine was a republic of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.