The speaker of the Crimean parliament, Yevgeny Suprunyuk, told a press conference in Simferopol yesterday he is sure that the "Autonomous Republic of Crimea" and its constitution will be included in the final draft of the Ukrainian Constitution. Both are lacking from the draft that was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament earlier this week. "Ukraine needs an Autonomous Crimean Republic more than Crimea does, to avoid a new hot spot," Suprunyuk said. (15) But Suprunyuk, who is regarded as a moderate, criticized central Ukrainian authorities who, he said, had not fulfilled all their obligations to Crimea. In particular, the Ukrainian parliament had not approved the republic’s constitution by December 1995 or January 1996, as originally agreed. Presidential spokesman Dmitri Markov also said yesterday that Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma believes the provisions relating to Crimea in the draft Ukrainian constitution "are not final and require additional work."
Ukraine Announces Military Reform Plans.