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Articles > RMC > Russia Muftis Council: Future of Crimea must be determined on the referendum

It is up to Crimeans themselves to decide whether they want to be part of Russia or Ukraine, said Deputy chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of European Russia (Muftis Council) Damir Gizatullin.

"Let them decide it on referendum. They must find a solution that would satisfy everyone, that would give Crimea an opportunity for economic growth and make it prosper, and that will bring peace to their land," said Damir Gizatullin in an interview to Interfax Religion on Thursday.

According to him, referendum is a form of will expression that is to be reckoned with.

Damir Gizatullin also supported the actions of Russian leaders aimed at securing the safety of their compatriots in Ukraine, and reminded that "our compatriots are not only Russians, but also Tatars living in various parts of Ukraine".

He also said that Russia's Muslims maintain close contact with their coreligionists in Ukraine, including Crimean Tatars.

"We perfectly know Crimean mufti and his assistants. They are very tolerant, well-educated and cultured men, and we've never heard a bad word from them about Russia or Russians. Crimean Tatars and Tatars living in other parts of Ukraine have always been interested in peaceful and harmonious relations between our states," said Damir Gizatullin.

As it was previously reported, Supreme Council of Crimea recently came up with a decision to join Russia. Members of Crimean parliament advanced the date of referendum, which is now to take place on March 16. Voters will be given a choice to remain an autonomous republic within Ukraine or join Russia.

Moscow, March 6, 2014


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