Crimea to change name after declaring independence

SIMFEROPOL, March 12 (PNA/ITAR-TASS) — Crimea will no longer be called Autonomous Ukrainian Republic of Crimea but Republic of Crimea following adoption by Crimea’s parliament the Supreme Council of a declaration of independence on March 11, Supreme Council speaker Vladimir Konstantinov said.

“We have made an important decision, adopted an important document. We state that we have the status of a republic, we declare us the Republic of Crimea,” Konstantinov told journalists.

A high-ranking source in the Crimean government said the word ‘autonomous’ will be removed from websites of official Crimean power bodies on March 11.

He noted it will take time but “the decision has been made and it will be implemented.”

Crimea’s parliament adopted Tuesday a declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a nationally significant Ukrainian city the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia said the decision is legitimate.

On March 6, Crimea’s Supreme Council decided the autonomous Ukrainian republic would secede from Ukraine and join Russia as its constituent member.

The issue was put to a referendum to be held on March 16.

Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine’s jurisdiction.

With USSR’s collapse in 1991, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine.

Crimea had the name Republic of Crimea in 1992 when it had its own Constitution and broader autonomy.(PNA/ITAR-TASS)