Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 127

On November 1, the Crimean parliament began an article-by-article debate on a new Constitution. It is the second attempt this year to produce a document amenable both to Simferopol and to Kiev, following the latter’s earlier rejection of a draft that was too separatist-oriented. Initial reports from the peninsula, home to an ethnic Russian majority, indicate that Kiev may be having things its way. Crimean deputies are said to have approved the first article of the draft stipulating that "the Republic of Crimea is an autonomous constituent part of Ukraine," which "independently resolves questions referred to its jurisdiction by the Constitution of Ukraine". (10)

Nor can the Crimean Constitution be at odds with the Constitution of Ukraine or the Ukrainian state’s legal and political structures. At this stage, though, the approved provision that most immediately defies Russian designs for the peninsula concerns the city of Sevastopol, defined here as "an inseparable part of Crimea." Insofar as can be ascertained, Sevastopol, the base of the Black Sea Fleet, will not have a special status in line with the wishes of political and military leaders in Moscow. A Ukrainian-Crimean working group reached agreement on most points of the draft before it went to the parliament in Simferopol. A remaining outstanding issue concerns dual citizenship, according to one source. (11) Kiev is concerned at the prospect of a mass of dual Ukrainian-Russian citizens with conflicting loyalties.

Crimean Tatars Fast For Political Representation.